Aims: The plasma level of interleukin-6 (IL-6) has been reported to be associated with left ventricular (LV) remodelling after myocardial infarction (MI). The present study was designed to examine whether anti-IL-6 receptor antibody (MR16-1) prevents the development of LV remodelling after MI.
Methods and results: Balb/c male mice were subjected to MI by ligating the left anterior descending coronary artery. The mice were then treated with an intraperitoneal injection of MR16-1 (500 microg/body) or control IgG. MR16-1 decreased the myocardial myeloperoxidase activity and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 concentration in the infarct region, concomitant with decreases in neutrophil and macrophage infiltration 3 days after ligation, while infarct size was comparable between the control IgG- and MR16-1-treated mice. At 7 days after ligation, MR16-1 significantly suppressed matrix metalloproteinase-2 activity in the infarct region. Furthermore, the MR16-1-treated mice demonstrated a reduction in LV dilatation and an improvement in LV contractile function compared with the control IgG-treated mice at 7 and 28 days after surgery, leading to an improvement in survival rate (80.6 vs. 59.5%, P < 0.05) at 28 days after surgery. The beneficial effects of MR16-1 were accompanied by histological suppression of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and interstitial fibrosis in the non-infarct region.
Conclusion: Administration of MR16-1 after MI suppressed myocardial inflammation, resulting in the amelioration of LV remodelling. Neutralization of the IL-6 receptor is a potentially useful strategy for protecting hearts from LV remodelling after MI.