Cardiac fibrosis is one of the hallmarks of a diabetic cardiomyopathy. When activated, cardiac fibroblasts (CFs) increase the production of extracellular matrix proteins. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 is known to mediate cardiac fibrosis through the SMAD pathway. High glucose (HG = 25mM) cell culture media can activate CFs using TGF-β1. There is a need to identify effective antifibrotic agents. Studies in animals indicate that treatment with (-)-epicatechin (Epi) appears capable of reducing myocardial fibrosis. Epi binds to G-protein coupled estrogen receptor (GPER) and activates downstream pathways. We evaluated the potential of Epi to mitigate the development of a profibrotic phenotype in HG stimulated CFs. CF primary cultures were isolated from young male rats and were exposed for up to 48h HG media and treated with vehicle or 1 μM Epi. Relevant profibrotic end points were measured by the use of various biochemical assays. HG exposure...

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