Cardiac myosin-specific autoimmune T cells contribute to immune-checkpoint-inhibitor-associated myocarditis

Taejoon Won, Hannah M. Kalinoski, Megan K. Wood, David M. Hughes, Camille M. Jaime, Paul Delgado, Monica V. Talor, Ninaad Lasrado, Jay Reddy, Daniela Čiháková

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are an effective therapy for various cancers; however, they can induce immune-related adverse events (irAEs) as a side effect. Myocarditis is an uncommon, but fatal, irAE caused after ICI treatments. Currently, the mechanism of ICI-associated myocarditis is unclear. Here, we show the development of myocarditis in A/J mice induced by anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) administration alone without tumor cell inoculation, immunization, or viral infection. Mice with myocarditis have increased cardiac infiltration, elevated cardiac troponin levels, and arrhythmia. Anti-PD-1 mAb treatment also causes irAEs in other organs. Autoimmune T cells recognizing cardiac myosin are activated and increased in mice with myocarditis. Notably, cardiac myosin-specific T cells are present in naive mice, showing a phenotype of antigen-experienced T cells. Collectively, we establish a clinically relevant mouse model for ICI-associated myocarditis and find a contribution of cardiac myosin-specific T cells to ICI-associated myocarditis development and pathogenesis.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalCell Reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2022


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