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Curr Heart Fail Rep. 2012 Jun;9(2):92-100. doi: 10.1007/s11897-012-0088-6.

TNF revisited: osteoprotegerin and TNF-related molecules in heart failure.

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Research Institute of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Rikshospitalet, Oslo University Hospital, Sognsvannsveien 20, 0027, Oslo, Norway.


The pathophysiological role of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in myocardial failure has been extensively examined in experimental and clinical studies. Recent studies suggest that other members of the TNF/TNF receptor superfamily (TNFSF/TNFRSF) also may play a pathogenic role in chronic HF. TNF ligands, and in particular members of the TNFRSF, are expressed by a wide variety of cells, including myocardial cells. By activating the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and death-related pathways, TNF ligands can induce a variety of effects within the myocardium, including apoptosis, hypertrophy, inflammation, and extracellular matrix remodeling. Among several TNFSF members that have been shown activated in HF, the OPG/RANK/RANKL (osteoprotegerin/receptor activator of NF-κB/RANK ligand) axis may be of importance in the pathogenesis of this disorder through different mechanisms. In this paper, we revisited the role of TNFSF/TNFRSF in the pathophysiology of HF, possibly representing new targets for therapy as well as new biomarkers in this disorder.

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