Cytokines are proteins with pleiotropic biological effects, but the pathophysiologic role of cytokine inhibitors in advanced cardiac disease remains unclear. We assessed the levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and its soluble receptors I (sTNF-RI) and II (sTNF-RII), soluble interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (sIL-1 Ra), and interleukin-6 soluble receptor (IL-6 sR) in sera from 11 patients with severe chronic congestive heart failure (mean left ventricular ejection fraction 19 ± 6%; mean symptom-limited oxygen consumption 13 ± 4 ml/min per kg) and 11 healthy volunteers. The serum concentrations of TNF, sTNF-RI, and sIL-1 Ra, but not of sTNF-RII and IL-6 sR, were significantly increased in heart failure patients. Importantly, their symptom-limited oxygen consumption was strongly associated with both sTNF-RI (R=-0.68, p=0.04) and sIL-1 Ra (R=-0.77, p=0.01). These results suggest that cytokine inhibitors from different receptor families may be involved in functional disability, a characteristic feature in patients with severe congestive heart failure. Understanding the response of cytokine inhibitors to heart failure might have therapeutic value as interventions against cytokines become available.
- Functional capacity
- Heart failure