What is the role of circulating cytokines in the pathophysiology of dilated cardiomyopathy?

Updated: Mar 02, 2021
  • Author: Vinh Q Nguyen, MD, FACC; Chief Editor: Gyanendra K Sharma, MD, FACC, FASE  more...
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Tissue necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) is involved in all forms of cardiac injury. In cardiomyopathies, TNF-alpha has been implicated in the progressive worsening of ventricular function, but the complete mechanism of its actions is poorly understood. Progressive deterioration of LV function and cell death (TNF plays a role in apoptosis) are implicated as some of the mechanisms of TNF-alpha. It also directly depresses myocardial function in a synergistic manner with other interleukins.

Elevated levels of several interleukins have been found in patients with left ventricular dysfunction. Interleukin (IL)–1b has been shown to depress myocardial function. One theory is that elevated levels of IL-2R in patients with class IV CHF suggest that T-lymphocytes play a role in advanced stages of heart failure.

IL-6 stimulates hepatic production of C-reactive protein, which serves as a marker of inflammation. IL-6 has also been implicated in the development of myocyte hypertrophy, and elevated levels have been found in patients with CHF. IL-6 has been found to correlate with hemodynamic measures in persons with left ventricular dysfunction.

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