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Cytokine. 2012 Oct;60(1):220-5. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2012.06.002. Epub 2012 Jun 27.

Interleukin-21--a biomarker of importance in predicting myocardial function following acute infarction?

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Cardiology Department, Hairmyres Hospital, Lanarkshire, Scotland, UK.



Following acute myocardial infarction (AMI), the acute inflammatory response contributes to wound healing but also to progressive myocardial injury. Interleukin-21 (IL-21) plays a key role in immunoregulation; whether IL-21 is associated with left ventricular (LV) remodelling after AMI is unknown.


Plasma IL-21 concentrations were measured in 100 patients (age 58.9 ± 12.0 years, 77% male) admitted with AMI and LV dysfunction, at baseline (mean 46 h) and again at 24 weeks; cardiac magnetic resonance and measurement of B-type natriuretic peptide, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, -3, -9, and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1, -2, -4 occurred at both time-points. Remodelling was defined as change in LV end-systolic volume index (ΔLVESVI).


Plasma IL-21 concentration was unchanged over time (48.1 [SD 35.4]pg/mL at baseline vs. 48.8 [61.3]pg/mL at 24 weeks, p=0.92). Baseline IL-21 correlated significantly with ΔLVESVI (r=0.30, p=0.005) and change in LV end-diastolic volume index (r=0.33, p=0.003). On multivariate analysis, plasma IL-21 was an independent predictor of remodelling. IL-21 was also significantly associated with higher TIMP-4 concentrations and lower MMP-9 concentrations at baseline.


IL-21 predicts adverse remodelling following AMI in patients with LV dysfunction. Whether it plays a direct pathophysiological role in remodelling merits further study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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