Heart samples were sectioned (5 μm thick) and stained using picrosirius red for quantification of interstitial collagen. Stained cross sections were captured using light microscopy (Eclipse 50i, Nikon, Tokyo, Japan) at 40× magnification. To estimate the fraction area (percentage) of collagen using picrosirius red–stained sections, 15 to 20 images of the septum were randomly captured for posterior analysis using ImageJ software (National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland). LV infarct size was measured using picrosirius red–stained sections and calculated by dividing the length of the infarcted area by the total circumference of the left ventricle (expressed as a percentage). Only cells with well-defined cell membranes and visible cell nuclei at midwall depth were selected to measure cardiomyocyte diameter on sections stained with Masson’s trichrome.

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