German paper on inflammation taken out of Circulation (Research) for data manipulation

Circulation Research, a journal of the American Heart Association (AHA), has retracted a 2009 article from a German group whose first author copped to manipulating data — and got called on it. From the notice:

The authors of the following article have requested that it be retracted from publication in Circulation Research:

Schwarz JB, Langwieser N, Langwieser NN, Bek MJ, Seidl S, Eckstein HH, Lu B, Schömig A, Pavenstädt H, Zohlnhöfer D. Novel role of the CXC chemokine receptor 3 in inflammatory response to arterial injury: involvement of mTORC1. Circ Res. 2009;104: 189–200 .

Dr Johannes Schwarz admitted to manipulating in vitro data concerning IP-10–induced effects in T cells and SMCs (Figure 1 and Figure 8e). All coauthors involved in this study, other than Dr Schwarz, had no knowledge of any scientific impropriety related to the collection, analysis, or presentation of these in vitro data in this manuscript. Dr Schwarz apologizes for any adverse consequences that may have resulted from the article’s publication and any inconvenience and wasted effort that this may have caused the scientific community and readers of the journal.

Maggie Francis, an AHA spokesperson, told us that:

The authors contacted the editorial office this spring and we published the retraction in the next available issue.  The authors’ communication formed the basis of the retraction text.

Francis said she wasn’t aware of any other retractions in AHA publications from the same authors. We haven’t been able to find any from other journals, either.

Schwarz, a post doc in the lab of Dietlind Zohlnhöfer-Momm, of the Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies, seems to have left (been kicked out of, we assume) the facility. An email to his institutional account bounced back. Zohlnhöfer-Momm had not replied to a request for comment at the time of this post.

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