Circulating tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels in chronic heart failure: relation to its soluble receptor II, interleukin-6, and neurohumoral variables.J Heart Lung Transplant. 1998 Apr; 17(4):356-62.JH
The cytokines tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) are increased in the circulation of patients with chronic heart failure. However, their correlation with left ventricular dysfunction has not yet been thoroughly evaluated, and their interrelation with other neurohumoral systems, such as the adrenergic system and endothelin, is unclear. Therefore TNF-alpha, its soluble receptor II, IL-6, big endothelin, and noradrenaline levels were simultaneously measured in venous blood from 65 patients with heart failure in New York Heart Association (NYHA) class II to IV during therapy with digitalis, furosemide, and enalapril. TNF-alpha plasma levels were 3.2+/-0.2 SEM pg/ml in 38 patients in NYHA function class II, 4.0+/-0.3 SEM pg/ml in 16 patients in NYHA function class III, and 5.3+/-0.9 SEM pg/ml in 11 patients in NYHA function class IV (p < 0.001 vs NYHA function class II). IL-6 plasma levels were 3.1+/-0.6 SEM pg/ml in 38 patients in NYHA function class II, 5.2+/-0.8 SEM pg/ml in 16 patients in NYHA function class III, and 13.3+/-3.9 SEM pg/ml in 11 patients in NYHA function class IV (p < 0.0001 vs NYHA function class II andp < 0.0001 vs NYHA class III). Thus both cytokines increased with increasing severity of heart failure, but only IL-6 plasma levels were different in patients in the more severe function classes. TNF-alpha correlated closely with TNF soluble receptor II (r = 0.8, p < 0.0001) and modestly with serum creatinine (r = 0.6, p < 0.0001), whereas IL-6 plasma levels were not statistically related to kidney function. Significant modest correlations were also found among TNF-alpha and IL-6 (r = 0.3, p < 0.01), big endothelin (r = 0.3, p < 0.01), and noradrenaline levels (r = 0.4, <0.001). This study supports the hypothesis that in heart failure both cytokines, TNF-alpha, and IL-6, as well as neurohumoral factors, play a role in the clinical progression of the disease. Thereby levels of TNF-alpha but not IL-6 seem to be related to concomitant kidney dysfunction.