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The cardiomyocyte disrupts pyrimidine biosynthesis in non-myocytes to regulate heart repair

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Various populations of cells are recruited to the heart after cardiac injury, but little is known about whether cardiomyocytes directly regulate heart repair. Using a murine model of ischemic cardiac injury, we demonstrate that cardiomyocytes play a pivotal role in heart repair by regulating nucleotide metabolism and fates of nonmyocytes. Cardiac injury induced the expression of the ectonucleotidase ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 1 (ENPP1), which hydrolyzes extracellular ATP to form AMP. In response to AMP, cardiomyocytes released adenine and specific ribonucleosides that disrupted pyrimidine biosynthesis at the orotidine monophosphate (OMP) synthesis step and induced genotoxic stress and p53-mediated cell death of cycling nonmyocytes. As nonmyocytes are critical for heart repair, we showed that rescue of pyrimidine biosynthesis by administration of uridine or by genetic targeting of the ENPP1/AMP pathway enhanced repair after cardiac injury. We identified ENPP1 inhibitors using small molecule screening and showed that systemic administration of an ENPP1 inhibitor after heart injury rescued pyrimidine biosynthesis in nonmyocyte cells and augmented cardiac repair and postinfarct heart function. These observations demonstrate that the cardiac muscle cell regulates pyrimidine metabolism in nonmuscle cells by releasing adenine and specific nucleosides after heart injury and provide insight into how intercellular regulation of pyrimidine biosynthesis can be targeted and monitored for augmenting tissue repair.

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