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Atrial fibrillation disrupts contraction of the atria, leading to stroke and heart failure. We deciphered how immune and stromal cells contribute to atrial fibrillation. Single-cell transcriptomes from human atria documented inflammatory monocyte and SPP1+ macrophage expansion in atrial fibrillation. Combining hypertension, obesity, and mitral valve regurgitation (HOMER) in mice elicited enlarged, fibrosed, and fibrillation-prone atria. Single-cell transcriptomes from HOMER mouse atria recapitulated cell composition and transcriptome changes observed in patients. Inhibiting monocyte migration reduced arrhythmia in Ccr2-∕- HOMER mice. Cell-cell interaction analysis identified SPP1 as a pleiotropic signal that promotes atrial fibrillation through cross-talk with local immune and stromal cells. Deleting Spp1 reduced atrial fibrillation in HOMER mice. These results identify SPP1+ macrophages as targets for immunotherapy in atrial fibrillation.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





231 - 239


Humans, Mice, Animals, Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Atria, Mitral Valve Insufficiency, Heart Failure, Macrophages