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J Biol Chem. 2012 Aug 3;287(32):27236-43. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.369728. Epub 2012 May 29.

Variants of Toll-like receptor 4 predict cardiac recovery in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology and Pulmonology, Universitätsmedizin Greifswald, 17475 Greifswald, Germany.


The clinical course of patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) varies from cardiac recovery to end stage heart failure. The etiology of this variability is largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the impact of coding polymorphisms of the innate immune protein Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) on left ventricular performance in patients with DCM. Two variants of TLR4 (rs4986790, TLR4 c.1187A→G, p.299D→G and rs4986791,TLR4 c.1487C→T, p.T399I) were investigated in 158 patients with DCM. Other reasons for heart failure were excluded by coronary angiography, myocardial biopsy, and echocardiography. Risk factors, age, gender, or treatment did not differ among the groups. At the follow-up evaluation (median 4.0-5.4 months), patients carrying the TLR4 wild type gene displayed cardiac recovery under intense medical heart failure therapy indexed by reduced left ventricular dilation, improved left ventricular ejection fraction, and reduced NT-probrain natriuretic peptide blood level when compared with the initial evaluation. In contrast, patients carrying both the rs4986790 and the rs4986791 variant showed significantly reduced improvement of left ventricular ejection fraction (p = 0.006) and left ventricular dilation (p = 0.015) at the follow-up evaluation when compared with carriers of the wild type gene under the same treatment conditions. In addition, NT-probrain natriuretic peptide level in carriers of both TLR4 variants did not change significantly at the follow up when compared with the first evaluation. Among patients with DCM, the presence of the TLR4 variants rs4986790 and rs4986791 predicts impaired cardiac recovery independently of medical treatment or cardiac risk factors.

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