New insights into the pathological role of TNF-alpha in early cardiac dysfunction and subsequent heart failure after infarction in rats

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2004 Jul;287(1):H340-50. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.01210.2003.


A marked increase in plasma TNF-alpha has been described in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). Nevertheless, little is known about the direct role of this cytokine early after myocardial infarction (MI) and its possible effects on the subsequent development of CHF. Wistar rats were subjected to permanent in vivo coronary artery ligation. At 5, 7, and 9 days after MI, cardiac function, passive compliance of the left ventricle (LV), and cardiac geometry were evaluated. The same model was used to perform pharmacological studies 7 days and 10 wk after MI in rats treated with monomeric recombinant human soluble TNF-alpha receptor type II (sTNF-RII, 40 microg/kg iv) or a placebo on day 3. Maximal alterations of cardiac function and geometry occurred 7 days after MI, which correlated chronologically with a peak of cardiac and serum TNF-alpha, as shown by immunohistochemistry and ELISA, respectively. sTNF-RII improved LV end-diastolic pressure under basal conditions and after volume overload 7 days and 10 wk after MI. Moreover, a significant leftward shift of the pressure-volume curve in the sTNF-RII-treated group 7 days after MI indicated a preservation of LV volume. Infarct expansion index was also significantly improved by sTNF-RII 7 days after MI (P < 0.01). Nevertheless, 10 wk after MI, geometric indexes and passive pressure-volume curves were not significantly improved by the treatment. In conclusion, TNF-alpha plays a major role in cardiac alterations 7 days after MI in rats and contributes to hemodynamic derangement, but not to cardiac remodeling, in subsequent CHF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / pharmacology
  • Blood Volume
  • Cardiac Output, Low / etiology*
  • Heart / physiopathology*
  • Hemodynamics
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Myocardial Infarction / complications*
  • Myocardial Infarction / metabolism
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology*
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type II
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*
  • Ventricular Function, Left


  • Antigens, CD
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type II
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha