Anti-IL-6 Monoclonal Antibodies as Antiarrhythmic Treatment for HF – The Cardiology Advisor

Posted: April 6, 2020 at 10:51 pm

, which were found to produce high levels of Interleukin-6 (IL-6), was abated in the presence of anti-IL-6 monoclonal antibodies, according to study results intended to be presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology (ACC.20).

In a diseased state, cardiacmesenchymal stromal cells (cMSCs) remodel and secrete inflammatory cytokines,including IL-6. IL-6 has been shown to be a potent inducer of Ca2+-mediatedarrhythmia substrates in human myocytes. While anti-IL-6 monoclonal antibodies havean established role in the treatment of autoimmune diseases and malignancies, theiruse in the treatment of cardiac disease has not been well studied.

Using extracted device leads and explanted hearts from patients with and without heart failure, investigators isolated cMSCs (failing and non-failing cMSCs, respectively), and quantified IL-6 using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Myocytes were derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from individuals without heart failure and cultured in monolayers. Myocytes were treated with exogenous IL-6 or cocultured with failing cMSCs with and without anti-IL-6 monoclonal antibody. Fluorescent indicators were used to detect the presence of Ca2+ alternans during steady state pacing.

The secretion of IL-6 was found tobe 5.6 times higher in failing vs nonfailing cMSCs (n=4; P <.005) and 66 times higher in cMSCs vs iPSC-derived humanmyocytes (n=5; P <.002). Myocytes thatwere cocultured with failing cMSCs or were exposed to exogenous IL-6 had largeincreases in Ca2+ alternans compared with myocytes cultured alone (343%,n=12, P <.001 and 300%, n=5, P <.002, respectively). These Ca2+alternans were reduced to baseline levels in myocyte/cMSC cocultures treated vsnot treated with IL-6 (reduction, 400%; n=18, P <.001).

These results suggest anovel anti-arrhythmic therapeutic strategy in heart failure using anti-IL-6drugs such as tocilizumab, sarilumab, or siltuximab, concluded theresearchers.


Vasireddi S, Sattayaprasert P,Moravec C, et al. Targeted anti-inflammatory treatment with anti-Il-6monoclonal antibody for calcium-mediated arrhythmia substrates in heartfailure. Intended to be presented at: American College of Cardiologys 69thAnnual Scientific Session; March 28-30, 2020; Chicago, IL. Presentation 915-09.

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Anti-IL-6 Monoclonal Antibodies as Antiarrhythmic Treatment for HF - The Cardiology Advisor

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