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BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2011 Oct 14;11:62. doi: 10.1186/1471-2261-11-62.

Novel Toll-like receptor-4 deficiency attenuates trastuzumab (Herceptin) induced cardiac injury in mice.

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University of Colorado Denver, Department of Medicine and Surgery, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.



Cardiac inflammation and generation of oxidative stress are known to contribute to trastuzumab (herceptin) induced cardiac toxicity. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a part of the innate immune system and are involved in cardiac stress reactions. Since TLR4 might play a relevant role in cardiac inflammatory signaling, we investigated whether or not TLR4 is involved in trastuzumab induced cardiotoxicity.


Seven days after a single injection of herceptin (2 mg/kg; i.p.), left ventricular pressure volume loops were measured in HeN compotent (TLR4+/+) and HeJ mutant (TLR4-/-) treated with trastuzumab and control mice. Immunofluorescent staining for monocyte infiltration and analyses of plasma by (ELISAs) for different chemokines including: MCP-1and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), Western immunoblotting assay for ICAM-1, and used troponin I for cardiac injury marker.


Trastuzumab injection resulted in an impairment of left ventricular function in TLR-4 competent (HeN), in contrast TLR4-/- trastuzumab mice showed improved left ventricular function EF%, CO; p < 0.05, attenuation of mononuclear cell infiltration in TLR4 -/-; p < 0.05 vs.TLR-4 competent (HeN), reduced level of cytokines TNF-α, MCP-1 and ICAM-1 expression in TLR4-/-, marked reduction of myocardial troponin-I levels in TLR4-deficient mice. Data are presented as means ± SE; n = 8 in each group p < 0.05 vs.TLR-4 competent (HeN).


Treatment with trastuzumab induces an inflammatory response that contributes to myocardial tissue TLR4 mediates chemokine expression (TNF-α, MCP-1and ICAM-1), so in experimental animals TLR4 deficiency improves left ventricular function and attenuates pathophysiological key mechanisms in trastuzumab induced cardiomyopathy.

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