Inflammatory myopathy is a rare autoimmune muscle disorder. Treatment typically focuses on skeletal muscle weakness or inflammation within muscle, as well as complications of respiratory failure secondary to respiratory muscle weakness. Impaired respiratory muscle function contributes to increased dyspnea and reduced exercise capacity in pulmonary hypertension (PH), a debilitating condition that has few treatment options. The initiation and progression of PH is associated with inflammation and inflammatory cell recruitment and it is established that hypoxia-induced mitogenic factor (HIMF, also known as resistin-like molecule α), activates macrophages in PH. However, the relationship between HIMF and inflammatory myoblasts remains unclear. This study investigated the signaling pathway involved in interleukin-18 (IL-18) expression and its relationship with HIMF in cultured myoblasts. We found that HIMF increased IL-18 production in myoblasts and that secreted IL-18 promoted tube formation of the endothelial progenitor cells. We used the mouse xenograft model and the chick chorioallantoic membrane assay to further explore the role of HIMF in inflammatory myoblasts and angiogenesis in vivo. Thus, our study focused on the mechanism by which HIMF mediates IL-18 expression in myoblasts through angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Our findings provide an insight into HIMF functioning in inflammatory myoblasts.
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