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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2012 Sep 1;303(5):H569-77. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00060.2012. Epub 2012 Jun 15.

Therapeutic administration of IL-11 exhibits the postconditioning effects against ischemia-reperfusion injury via STAT3 in the heart.

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Laboratory of Clinical Science and Biomedicine, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.


Activation of cardiac STAT3 by IL-6 cytokine family contributes to cardioprotection. Previously, we demonstrated that IL-11, an IL-6 cytokine family, has the therapeutic potential to prevent adverse cardiac remodeling after myocardial infarction; however, it remains to be elucidated whether IL-11 exhibits postconditioning effects. To address the possibility that IL-11 treatment improves clinical outcome of recanalization therapy against acute myocardial infarction, we examined its postconditioning effects on ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. C57BL/6 mice were exposed to ischemia (30 min) and reperfusion (24 h), and IL-11 was intravenously administered at the start of reperfusion. I/R injury mediated the activation of STAT3, which was enhanced by IL-11 administration. IL-11 treatment reduced I/R injury, analyzed by triphenyl tetrazolium chloride staining [PBS, 46.7 ± 14.4%; IL-11 (20 μg/kg), 28.6 ± 7.5% in the ratio of infarct to risk area]. Moreover, echocardiographic and hemodynamic analyses clarified that IL-11 treatment preserved cardiac function after I/R. Terminal deoxynucleotide transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling staining revealed that IL-11 reduced the frequency of apoptotic cardiomyocytes after I/R. Interestingly, IL-11 reduced superoxide production assessed by in situ dihydroethidium fluorescence analysis, accompanied by the increased expression of metallothionein 1 and 2, reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavengers. Importantly, with the use of cardiac-specific STAT3 conditional knockout (STAT3 CKO) mice, it was revealed that cardiac-specific ablation of STAT3 abrogated IL-11-mediated attenuation of I/R injury. Finally, IL-11 failed to suppress the ROS production after I/R in STAT3 CKO mice. IL-11 administration exhibits the postconditioning effects through cardiac STAT3 activation, suggesting that IL-11 has the clinical therapeutic potential to prevent I/R injury in heart.

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