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Cardiovasc Res. 2000 Jan 14;45(2):428-36.

CXC-chemokines, a new group of cytokines in congestive heart failure--possible role of platelets and monocytes.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, University of Oslo, National Hospital, Norway.



The purpose of the present study was to examine the circulating levels of CXC-chemokines in patients with various degree of congestive heart failure (CHF).


CXC-chemokines may be important mediators in the persistent immune activation observed in CHF patients by activation of circulating neutrophils, T-cells and monocytes and possibly by the recruitment of these cells into the failing myocardium.


Levels of interleukin (IL)-8, growth-regulated oncogene (GRO) alpha and epithelial neutrophil activating peptide (ENA)-78 were measured both in serum and in platelet-free plasma by enzyme immunoassay in 47 patients with CHF and in 20 healthy controls.


(i) CHF patients had significantly elevated levels of all the three CXC-chemokines with IL-8 and GRO alpha showing a gradual increase along with increasing NYHA class. (ii) There was an inverse correlation between IL-8 and left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) and cardiac index (CI). (iii) Both unstimulated and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated monocytes from CHF patients released markedly elevated amounts of all three CXC-chemokines. (iv) Platelets from patients with severe CHF were characterised by decreased content of GRO alpha and ENA-78 as well as decreased release of these chemokines upon thrombin receptor stimulation. (v) Activated platelets stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells in vitro to enhanced release of IL-8, and neutralising antibodies against ENA-78 inhibited this interaction.


This study demonstrates for the first time elevated levels of CXC-chemokines in CHF, which may be of importance for progression of heart failure. Our findings further suggest that activated monocytes and platelets may contribute to enhanced CXC-chemokine levels in CHF.

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