Induction of interleukin-6 synthesis in the myocardium: Potential role in postreperfusion inflammatory injury

Gilbert L. Kukielka, C. Wayne Smith, Anthony M. Manning, Keith A. Youker, Lloyd H. Michael, Mark L. Entman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

286 Scopus citations


Background. Neutrophil-induced injury of myocardial cells requires the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) on the myocyte surface and is mediated by ICAM-1-CD11b/CD18 adhesion. We have previously shown thai interleukin-6 (IL-6) cytokine activity, present in cardiac lymph, induces ICAM-1 on isolated cardiac myocytes. Furthermore, in previous in vivo studies, we have also shown ICAM-1 mRNA induction in the myocardium within the first hour of reperfusion in the previously ischemic viable zone. We hypothesized that induction of IL-6 synthesis in the myocardium was an integral part of the reaction to injury resulting from ischemia and reperfusion and was associated with induction of ICAM-1 on myocardial cells. Methods and Results. In this study, cloned canine IL-6 cDNA was used as a molecular probe to study the regulation of IL-6 in an awake canine model of myocardial ischemia and reperfusion. IL-6 mRNA was induced in ischemic and reperfused segments of myocardium preferentially in segments previously exposed to severe ischemia. Peak levels of IL-6 mRNA were reached within 3 hours of reperfusion. At the same time, IL-6 mRNA and ICAM-1 mRNA were found in the same myocardial segments. In contrast to hearts that were ischemic for 1 hour and reperfused for 3 hours, nonreperfused hearts after 4 hours of persistent ischemia demonstrated minimal induction of ICAM-1 or IL-6 despite similar degrees of injury and blood flow reductions during ischemia. After 24 hours of persistent ischemia, levels of IL-6 mRNA were comparable to those observed in hearts that were ischemic for 1 hour and subsequently reperfused for 24 hours. Conclusions. Our results demonstrate induction of IL-6 mRNA in the myocardium and that this synthesis is accelerated by reperfusion. Evidence is also provided to show that peak IL-6 mRNA precedes that of ICAM- 1 mRNA. These findings are compatible with our hypothesis that IL-6 is important in the induction of ICAM-1 in the area of ischemia. In addition, these studies suggest that the necessary factors to promote adhesive interactions between transmigrated neutrophils and cardiac myocytes are present in reperfused myocardium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1866-1875
Number of pages10
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 1995


  • blood cells
  • interleukin
  • myocardial infarction
  • reperfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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