Peptidylarginine deiminase 4 promotes age-related organ fibrosis. Academic Article uri icon


  • Aging promotes inflammation, a process contributing to fibrosis and decline in organ function. The release of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs [NETosis]), orchestrated by peptidylarginine deiminase 4 (PAD4), damages organs in acute inflammatory models. We determined that NETosis is more prevalent in aged mice and investigated the role of PAD4/NETs in age-related organ fibrosis. Reduction in fibrosis was seen in the hearts and lungs of aged PAD4-/- mice compared with wild-type (WT) mice. An increase in left ventricular interstitial collagen deposition and a decline in systolic and diastolic function were present only in WT mice, and not in PAD4-/- mice. In an experimental model of cardiac fibrosis, cardiac pressure overload induced NETosis and significant platelet recruitment in WT but not PAD4-/- myocardium. DNase 1 was given to assess the effects of extracellular chromatin. PAD4 deficiency or DNase 1 similarly protected hearts from fibrosis. We propose a role for NETs in cardiac fibrosis and conclude that PAD4 regulates age-related organ fibrosis and dysfunction.

publication date

  • February 2017