Aim: Interleukin (IL)-17 pathway is being clinically targeted in immune-mediated diseases, most of which are associated with a significant cardiovascular risk. We investigated the relationship between serum levels of IL-17 and the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with acute myocardial infarction.
Methods and results: We used data from 981 patients enrolled in the prospective, multicentre French registry of Acute ST elevation, or non-ST-elevation Myocardial Infarction (Fast-MI, NCT00673036). Serum levels of IL-17 were associated with the risk of all-cause death and recurrent MI at 2 years, with levels of IL-17 below the median indicative of a worse outcome. The impact of IL-17 remained significant after adjustment for known cardiovascular risk factors, C-reactive protein, and treatments including statins: hazard ratio (HR) = 1.40 (1.03-1.91); P = 0.03. IL-17 inhibited mononuclear cell adhesion to endothelium and reduced endothelial vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM-1) expression. Patients with low (below the median) IL-17 levels and high (above the median) soluble VCAM-1 (sVCAM-1) levels were at particularly increased risk of death and MI: adjusted HR = 2.22 (1.32-3.75) compared with the high IL-17/low sVCAM-1 group (P = 0.002).
Conclusions: Low serum levels of IL-17 are associated with a higher risk of major cardiovascular events in Caucasian patients with acute MI. Our results raise possible concern about the use of inhibitors of the IL-17 pathway in clinical settings associated with a high cardiovascular risk.
Clinical trials registration: NCT00673036.