Daniela Cihakova, M.D., Ph.D.
Primary Appointment in Pathology
Member, Graduate Program in Pathobiology
In most of my research, I focus on the pathogenesis of myocarditis and its sequela, inflammatory dilated cardiomyopathy (DCMI). DCMI is among the most common causes of non-congenital, non-ischemic heart failure in people under the age of 40. It is also a frequent indication for heart transplantation. Despite the seriousness and prevalence of the inflammatory heart disease, there are still important gaps in our understanding of its mechanism. To help fill those gaps, we use a mouse model of myocarditis, called experimental autoimmune myocarditis (EAM).
I have been focusing on two main areas related to myocarditis. My first area of interest is the role of the inflammatory cytokines in myocarditis and DCMI. We have discovered that IL17A is critical for progression from myocarditis to DCMI while not being essential for myocarditis development (Baldeviano et al, 2010). We are currently investigating the mechanism of how IL-17A is driving DCMI. We have evidence that IL17A and cardiac resident cells interaction is critical for DCMI. My second area of interest is the role of the various inflammatory cells in myocarditis and how they contribute to the cardiac remodeling and DCMI. Clinically, different types of myocarditis are recognized based on the predominant infiltrating cell type such as giant cell myocarditis or eosinophilic necrotizing myocarditis. We have developed several models that reflect closely these clinical myocarditis entities. These models allow us to investigate the role of neutrophils, T cells, NK cells, myeloid cells and eosinophils and their contribution to cardiac inflammation and remodeling.
Beside myocarditis, my other interests include the pathogenic role of SSA/SSB antibodies in development of congenital complete heart block and the susceptibility to Candida infections in patients with autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy (APECED).
Baldeviano GC, Barin JG, Talor MV, Srinivasan S, Bedja D, Zheng D, Gabrielson K, Iwakura Y, Rose NR, Čiháková D*. Interleukin-17A Is Dispensable for Myocarditis but Essential for the Progression to Dilated Cardiomyopathy. Circ Res. 2010; 106(10):1646-1655.
Barin JG, Christian Baldeviano G, Talor MV, Wu L, Ong S, Quader F, Chen P, Zheng D, Caturegli P, Rose NR, Čiháková D*. Macrophages participate in IL-17-mediated inflammation. Eur J Immunol. 2011; 42(3):726-736.
Barin JG, Talor MV, Baldeviano GB, Kimura M, Rose NR, Čiháková D*. Mechanisms of IFNg regulation of autoimmune myocarditis Experimental and Molecular Pathology 2010;89 (2):83-91.
Barin J, Rose NR, Čiháková D*. Macrophage diversity in cardiac inflammation. Immunobiology 2011; 217(5):468-75.
Čiháková D (Ed). Myocarditis. InTech Open Access Publisher, Rijeka, Croatia 2011. ISBN 978-953-307-289-0 http://www.intechopen.com/books/myocarditis
Čiháková D, Sharma RB, Fairweather D, Afanasyeva M, Rose NR. Animal models for autoimmune myocarditis and autoimmune thyroiditis. Methods Mol Med. 2004; 102:175-94.