Central TNF inhibition results in attenuated neurohumoral excitation in heart failure: a role for superoxide and nitric oxide

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This study examined the effect of central tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF) blockade on the imbalance between nitric oxide and superoxide production in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and ventrolateral medulla (VLM), key autonomic regulators, and their contribution to enhanced sympathetic drive in mice with congestive heart failure (CHF). We also used a TNF gene knockout (KO) mouse model to study the involvement of TNF in body fluid homeostasis and sympathoexcitation in CHF. After implantation of intracerebroventricular (ICV) cannulae, myocardial infarction (MI) was induced in wild-type (WT) and KO mice by coronary artery ligation. Osmotic mini-pumps were implanted into one set of WT + MI/Sham mice for continuous ICV infusion of Etanercept (ETN), a TNF receptor fusion protein, or vehicle (VEH). Gene expressions of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and angiotensin receptor-type 2 were reduced, while those of inducible NOS, Nox2 homologs, superoxide, peroxynitrite and angiotensin receptor-type 1 were elevated in the brainstem and hypothalamus of MI + VEH. Plasma norepinephrine levels and the number of Fos-positive neurons were also increased in the PVN and VLM in MI + VEH. MI + ETN and KO + MI mice exhibited reduced oxidative stress, reduced sympathoexcitation and an improved cardiac function. These changes in WT + MI were associated with increased sodium and fluid retention. These results indicate that elevated TNF in these autonomic regulatory regions of the brain alter the production of superoxide and nitric oxide, contributing to fluid imbalance and sympathoexcitation in CHF.

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Basic research in cardiology

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