Cytokine and murine coxsackievirus B3 myocarditis. Interleukin-2 suppressed myocarditis in the acute stage but enhanced the condition in the subsequent stage.
BACKGROUND It has been shown that the development of coxsackievirus B3 (CB3) myocarditis is regulated by T cells and not by B cells. Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is a T-cell-derived cytokine that stimulates the growth of T cells. This study was carried out to determine the effects of IL-2 on CB3-infected BALB/c mice.
METHODS AND RESULTS In two separate experiments, recombinant human IL-2 (5 x 10(4) U) was administered subcutaneously to 30 mice early (days 0 to 7) and 30 mice late (days 7 to 14) after infection with CB3. Each experiment had a control group of infected animals that did not receive IL-2. On days 7 and 10, splenic natural killer (NK) cell activity determined by 51Cr release assay and the distribution of myocardial lymphocyte subsets were compared in the treated and untreated groups. In the early treatment experiment, survival at 7 days was higher in treated compared with control animals, myocardial virus titers were lower, inflammatory cell infiltration was less (as was the severity of necrosis at the time the mice were killed), and NK cell activity was higher. However, in the late treatment experiment, survival at 14 days was lower in treated compared with control animals, and there was more infiltration, more severe necrosis, and more T-cell infiltration, but the NK cell activity did not differ significantly. In a third experiment similar to the late experiment described above but involving infected athymic nude mice, we confirmed the lack of effect of late in vivo administration of IL-2 on outcome.
CONCLUSIONS IL-2 has the capacity to limit CB3 myocarditis by enhancing NK cell activity in the acute viremic stage, resulting in a reduction of cardiac pathology. However, in the subacute aviremic stage, in contrast, IL-2 exacerbates the course and severity of the disease by increasing the number of T cells infiltrating the myocardium. That is, IL-2 has differential effects on acute CB3 myocarditis. IL-2 is beneficial if treatment is given early but later in murine CB3 myocarditis.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association