Role of interleukin-6 in cardiac inflammation and dysfunction after burn complicated by sepsis

Hongchao Zhang, Huan You Wang, Rhonda Bassel-Duby, David L. Maass, William E. Johnston, Jureta W. Horton, Weike Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


To examine the role of myocardial interleukin-6 (IL-6) in myocardial inflammation and dysfunction after burn complicated by sepsis, we performed 40% total body surface area contact burn followed by late (7 days) Streptococcus pneumoniae pneumonia sepsis in wild-type (WT) mice, IL-6 knockout (IL-6 KO) mice, and transgenic mice overexpressing IL-6 in the myocardium (TG). Twenty-four hours after sepsis was induced, isolated cardiomyocytes were harvested and cultured in vitro, and supernatant concentrations of IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α were measured. Cardiomyocyte intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) and sodium ([Na+] i) concentrations were also determined. Separate mice in each group underwent in vivo global hemodynamic and cardiac function assessment by cannulation of the carotid artery and insertion of a left ventricular pressure volume conductance catheter. Hearts from these mice were collected for histopathological assessment of inflammatory response, fibrosis, and apoptosis. In the WT group, there was an increase in cardiomyocyte TNF-α, [Ca 2+]i, and [Na+]i after burn plus sepsis, along with cardiac contractile dysfunction, inflammation, and apoptosis. These changes were attenuated in the IL-6 KO group but accentuated in the TG group. We conclude myocardial IL-6 mediates cardiac inflammation and contractile dysfunction after burn plus sepsis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H2408-H2416
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Apoptosis
  • Cardiac contractile function
  • Fibrosis
  • Tumor necrosis factor-α
  • α-myosin heavy chain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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