, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 107–118 | Cite as

Implications of Cytokine Inhibition for the Drug Therapy of Heart Failure

  • Akira Matsumori


Cytokines are being increasingly recognised as important factors in the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of heart failure. Elevated levels of circulating cytokines have been reported in patients with heart failure, and various cytokines have been shown to depress myocardial contractility in vitro and in vivo. In our murine model of congestive heart failure resulting from encephalomyocarditis virus infection, survival and myocardial damage were markedly improved by treatment with vesnarinone. Vesnarinone inhibited the increase in natural killer cell activity and production of tumour necrosis factor-α (TNFα) in this animal model. Vesnarinone also inhibited the production of various cytokines by peripheral blood and by endothelial cells.

These findings provide evidence that vesnarinone plays an important role in the regulation of cytokine production, and suggest that the reduction of cytokine release may contribute to the beneficial effects of the drug for the treatment of heart failure. As we learn more about the pathophysiological and pathogenetic role of cytokines in heart failure, it should be possible to design better and more targeted pharmacological agents. Furthermore, the investigation of inotropic agents that are effective against the production of cytokines may help in the classification of these agents.


Heart Failure Myocarditis Natural Killer Cell Activity Rolipram Phosphodiesterase Inhibitor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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This work was supported, in part, by a Research Grant from the Ministry of Health and Welfare and a Grant-in-Aid for Development Scientific Research and for General Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Japan.


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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akira Matsumori
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cardiovascular MedicineKyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Third Division Department of Internal Medicine, Kyoto University HospitalSakyo-ku, KyotoJapan

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