Histochemistry and Cell Biology

, Volume 150, Issue 3, pp 271–280 | Cite as

A heart for fibrillin: spatial arrangement in adult wild-type murine myocardial tissue

  • Felke SteijnsEmail author
  • Jolanda van Hengel
  • Patrick Sips
  • Julie De Backer
  • Marjolijn Renard
Original Paper


Fibrillins are major constituents of microfibrils, which are essential components of the extracellular matrix of connective tissues where they contribute to the tissue homeostasis. Although it is known that microfibrils are abundantly expressed in the left ventricle of the heart, limited data are available about the presence of microfibrils in the other parts of the myocardial tissue and whether there are age or sex-related differences in the spatial arrangement of the microfibrils. This basic knowledge is essential to better understand the impact of fibrillin-1 pathogenic variants on the myocardial tissue as seen in Marfan related cardiomyopathy. We performed histological analyses on wild-type male and female murine myocardial tissue collected at different time-points (1, 3 and 6 months). Fibrillin-1 and -2 immunofluorescence stainings were performed on cross-sections at the level of the apex, the mid-ventricles and the atria. In addition, other myocardial matrix components such as collagen and elastin were also investigated. Fibrillin-1 presented as long fibres in the apex, mid-ventricles and atria. The spatial arrangement differed between the investigated regions, but not between age groups or sexes. Collagen had a similar broad spatial arrangement to that of fibrillin-1, whereas elastic fibres were primarily present in the atria and the vessels. In contrast to fibrillin-1, limited amounts of fibrillin-2 were observed. Fibrillin-rich fibres contribute to the architecture of the myocardial tissue in a region-dependent manner in wild-type murine hearts. This knowledge is helpful for future experimental set-ups of studies evaluating the impact of fibrillin-1 pathogenic variants on the myocardial tissue.


Microfibrils Fibrillin-1 Cardiac tissue Spatial arrangement Myocardial ECM 



We are grateful to Dr. Lynn Sakai for providing the fibrillin antibodies pAb 9543 and pAb 0868. Julie De Backer is supported as Senior Clinical Investigator by the Research Foundation Flanders and Marjolijn Renard is supported as Post Doc Researcher by the Research Foundation Flanders.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

418_2018_1686_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.5 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 2582 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Medical GeneticsGhent University HospitalGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  3. 3.Department of CardiologyGhent University HospitalGhentBelgium

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