Macrophage migration inhibitory factor mediates late cardiac dysfunction after burn injury

Monte S. Willis, Deborah L. Carlson, J. Michael DiMaio, Michael D. White, D. Jean White, Glenn A. Adams IV, Jureta W. Horton, Brett P. Giroir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


We have recently demonstrated that macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a myocardial depressant protein and that MIF mediates late, prolonged cardiac dysfunction after endotoxin challenge in mice. Because many factors, including endotoxin, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiac dysfunction after burn injury, we tested the hypothesis that MIF might also be the mediator of prolonged cardiac dysfunction in this model. At 4 h after 40% total body surface area burn in anesthetized mice, serum MIF levels increased significantly compared with baseline (2.2-fold). This increase was accompanied by a significant decrease in cardiac tissue MIF levels (2.1-fold decrease compared with controls). This pattern was consistent with MIF release from preformed cytoplasmic stores in the heart and other organs. To determine whether MIF mediates cardiac dysfunction after burn injury, mice were pretreated with anti-MIF neutralizing monoclonal antibodies or isotype control antibodies. Beginning 4 h after burn injury (and continuing through 48 h), burned mice demonstrated a significantly depressed left ventricular shortening fraction of 38.6 ± 1.8%, compared with the normal controls (56.0 ± 2.6%). Mice treated with anti-MIF displayed an initial depression of cardiac function similar to nontreated animals but then showed rapid restoration of cardiac function with complete recovery by 24 h, which persisted for the duration of the protocol. This study is the first to demonstrate that MIF mediates late, prolonged cardiac dysfunction after burn injury and suggests that MIF blockade should be considered a therapeutic target for the treatment of burn injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H795-H804
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2 57-2
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Cytokine
  • Endotoxin
  • Innate immunity
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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