Current Protocols In Immunology
Myocarditis and valvulitis are inflammatory diseases affecting myocardium and valve. Myocarditis, a viral-induced disease of myocardium, may lead to dilated cardiomyopathy and loss of heart function. Valvulitis leads to deformed heart valves and altered blood flow in rheumatic heart disease. Animal models recapitulating these diseases are important in understanding the human condition. Cardiac myosin is a major autoantigen in heart, and antibodies and T cells to cardiac myosin are evident in inflammatory heart diseases. This unit is a practical guide to induction and evaluation of experimental autoimmune myocarditis (EAM) in several mouse strains and the Lewis rat. Purification protocols for cardiac myosin and protocols for induction of EAM by cardiac myosin and its myocarditis-producing peptides, and coxsackievirus CVB3, are defined. Protocols for assessment of myocarditis and valvulitis in humans and animal models provide methods to define functional autoantibodies targeting cardiac myosin, -adrenergic, and muscarinic receptors, and their deposition in tissues.