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J Clin Invest. 1990 Sep;86(3):845-50.

Effects of interleukin 2 on cardiac function in the isolated rat heart.

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Department of Medicine, Loyola University of Chicago, Stritch School ofMedicine, Maywood, Illinois 60153.


Adoptive immunotherapy with IL 2 is associated with severe cardiovascular toxicities including peripheral and pulmonary edema, hypotension decreased systemic vascular resistance, increased heart rate, and an increased cardiac index. The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether IL 2 alone or in combination with lymphokine-activated killer cells (LAK) cells depress cardiac function using the isolated, perfused, working rat heart preparation. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (250-350 g) were anesthetized and the hearts were removed and placed on the perfusion apparatus. Hearts were perfused with oxygenated Krebs-Henseleit buffer (KHB), or oxygenated KHB containing IL 2 alone, IL 2-Media (cell culture media supplemented with 1,500 U IL 2/ml), LYMPH (cell culture media from cultured mononuclear cells from healthy volunteers), or LAK (cell culture media from cultured lymphocytes harvested from patients receiving IL 2/LAK in the presence of 1,500 U/ml IL 2). The cells were removed before perfusion (n = 9). Cardiac output and coronary flow were measured at 20-min intervals with preload constant (afterload varied or afterload constant (preload varied). The results indicate a significant depression in cardiac function in hearts treated with LAK. This depression was evident at 20 min and was more pronounced at 60 min. Washout of the KHB plus LAK reversed this depression. Thus, IL 2-stimulated/cultured human mononuclear cells produce a soluble factor that produces a reversible severe depression of cardiac function.

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