Interleukin-37 suppresses the inflammatory response to protect cardiac function in old endotoxemic mice

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Myocardial inflammatory responses to endotoxemia are enhanced in old mice, which results in worse cardiac dysfunction. Anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-37 has a broad effect on innate immunoresponses. We hypothesized that IL-37 suppresses myocardial inflammatory responses to protect cardiac function during endotoxemia in old mice. Old (20–24 month) wild-type (WT), and IL-37 transgenic (IL-37tg) mice were treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 0.5 mg/kg, iv) or normal saline (0.1 ml/mouse, iv). Six hours later, left ventricle (LV) function was assessed using a pressure-volume microcatheter. Levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 in plasma and myocardial tissue, as well as mononuclear cell density in the myocardium, were examined. Cardiac microvascular endothelial cells isolated from WT and IL-37tg mice were treated with LPS (0.2 μg/ml) for 0.5–24 h. Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) p65 phosphorylation was examined by immunoblotting, and MCP-1 levels in cell culture supernatant was determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. LV dysfunction in old WT endotoxemic mice was accompanied by up-regulated MCP-1, myocardial accumulation of mononuclear cells and production of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6. Expression of IL-37 suppressed myocardial inflammatory responses to endotoxemia in old mice, resulting in improved LV function. Treatment of old WT endotoxemic mice with recombinant IL-37 also improved LV function. In vitro experiments revealed that cardiac microvascular endothelial cells from IL-37tg mice had attenuated NF-κB activation and MCP-1 production following LPS stimulation. In conclusion, IL-37 is potent to suppress myocardial inflammation and protects against cardiac dysfunction during endotoxemia in old mice.

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