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Circulation. 2003 Feb 18;107(6):798-802.

Alterations in Janus kinase (JAK)-signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) signaling in patients with end-stage dilated cardiomyopathy.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology and Angiology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.



Experimental studies indicate that interleukin-6 (IL-6)-related cytokines, signaling via the shared receptor gp130, Janus kinases (JAKs), and signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs), provide a critical cardiomyocyte survival pathway in vivo. Little is known about the activation of this signaling pathway in the myocardia of patients with end-stage dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).


We performed a comprehensive expression and activation analysis of IL-6-related cytokines, receptors, signal transducers, and signal transduction inhibitors in left ventricular (LV) myocardia from patients with DCM (n=10) and non-failing (NF) donor hearts (n=5). Differential expression (DCM versus NF) was observed by immunoblotting at each level of the signaling cascade, including receptor ligands (IL-6: -59%, P<0.01; leukemia inhibitory factor [LIF]: +54%, P<0.05), receptor subunits (LIF receptor: -16%, P<0.05), signaling molecules (the Janus kinase TYK2: -48%, P<0.01; STAT3: -47%, P<0.01), and suppressors of cytokine signaling (SOCS1: +97%, P<0.05; SOCS3: -49%, P<0.01). Tyrosine-phosphorylation status of gp130 was increased (+60%, P<0.05), whereas tyrosine-phosphorylation status of JAK2 was reduced in DCM (-72%, P<0.01). Moreover, as shown by immunohistochemistry, the number of STAT3-positive cardiomyocytes was reduced in DCM (-42%, P<0.01).


Signaling via gp130 and JAK-STAT is profoundly altered in DCM. Importantly, tyrosine-phosphorylation of JAK2 is reduced in the face of increased gp130 phosphorylation, indicating impaired downstream activation of this critical pathway in DCM.

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