N-Acetylcysteine Effects on Transforming Growth Factor-β and Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Serum Levels as Pro-Fibrotic and Inflammatory Biomarkers in Patients Following ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction

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Abstract

Background and Aims

Ischemia following acute myocardial infarction (AMI) increases the level of pro-fibrotic and inflammatory cytokines, including transforming growth factor (TGF)-β and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has therapeutic benefits in the management of patients with AMI. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that has evaluated the effect of NAC on TNF-α and TGF-β levels in patients with AMI.

Methods

Following confirmation of AMI, 88 patients were randomly administered NAC 600 mg (Fluimucil®, Zambon, Ticino, Switzerland) or placebo orally twice daily for 3 days. For quantification of TGF-β and TNF-α serum levels after 24 and 72 h of NAC or placebo administration, peripheral venous blood (10 mL) samples were collected at these time points.

Results

Comparisons between levels of TGF-β and TNF-α after 24 and 72 h within the NAC or placebo groups revealed that there was not any significant difference except for TGF-β levels in the placebo group, which increased significantly over time (p = 0.042). Significant relationships existed between patients’ ejection fraction (p = 0.005) and TGF-β levels.

Conclusions

Receiving NAC could prevent TGF-β levels from increasing after 72 h as compared with not receiving NAC. As TGF-β had strong correlations with the ejection fraction, its antagonism seems to be important in the prevention of remodeling.

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