Background: Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), a proinflammatory cytokine with potent negative inotropic properties, is elaborated in septic shock, acute myocarditis, reperfusion injury, and congestive heart failure. TNF-α acts by binding to two specific receptors: TNFR1 and TNFR2. However, neither the presence nor the significance of TNF receptors has been studied in the adult mammalian heart. Methods and Results: In the present study, we showed that the adult heart expresses mRNA and receptor proteins for TNFR1 and TNFR2. Moreover, immunohistochemical staining studies localized TNFR1 and TNFR2 to the cardiac myocyte, providing a potential signaling pathway for the deleterious effects of TNF-α. The functional significance of the expression of TNFR1 and TNFR2 was explored with the use of a simple cell motion assay in which we assessed the effect(s) of TNF-αmutants known to bind selectively to human TNFR1 and TNFR2. We showed thai the negative inotropic effect of wild- type TNF-α in isolated feline cardiac myocytes was mimicked by the TNF mutant that binds to TNFR1, whereas the TNF mutant that binds to TNFR2 had no significant effect on cell motion. Conclusions: Results of the present study show that the adult human heart expresses both mRNA and receptor proteins for TNFR1 and TNFR2; moreover, the negative inotropic effects of TNF-α in adult cardiac myocytes appear to be initiated by activation of TNFR1.
- tumor necrosis factor