Immunosuppression with high doses of cyclophosphamide reduces the severity of myocarditis but increases the mortality in murine Coxsackievirus B3 myocarditis.
To test the therapeutic efficacy of immunosuppression with cyclophosphamide (CYP) on coxsackievirus B3 (CB3) myocarditis, 2-week-old DBA/2 mice were inoculated with 3 X 10(2) plaque-forming units of CB3 virus. CYP (100 mg/kg/day s.c.) was administered daily on days 0-8 (experiment 1; group 2), days 8-21 (experiment 2; group 4), and days 21-34 (experiment 3; group 6). Groups 1, 3, and 5 were infected control groups for each experiment. Spleen, thymus, and body weights were measured. In experiment 1, survival rate in group 2 on day 8 was low compared with group 1 (nine of 51 versus eight of 28; p = NS), and myocardial virus titers in group 2 on day 8 were higher (p less than 0.05) compared with group 1; however, cellular infiltration and myocardial necrosis in group 2 were less severe (p less than 0.05), and serum neutralizing antibody titers were decreased (p less than 0.01). In experiment 2, survival rate in group 4 on day 21 was significantly lower (six of 24 versus 12 of 16; p less than 0.01), but cellular infiltration, myocardial necrosis, and calcification in group 4 were significantly less severe, and serum neutralizing antibody titers were decreased (p less than 0.01). In experiment 3, survival rate, cardiac histopathology, and serum neutralizing antibody titers did not differ between groups 5 and 6. In experiments 1, 2, and 3, the treated groups were characterized by lower spleen-to-body-weight and thymus-to-body-weight ratios and by marked cellular depletion in spleen and thymus.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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