Future prospects of anticytokine therapy in chronic heart failure

Stephan von Haehling, Stefan D. Anker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several lines of evidence suggest that chronic heart failure is a state of chronic inflammation. Indeed, various pro-inflammatory markers, including the cytokines TNF-α, and interleukin 6 and 1, are activated in the course of the disease. In chronic heart failure, these substances are frequently induced even before the classical neurohormones angiotensin II and noradrenaline. Although the recently published anti-TNF-α trials with etanercept and infliximab have called the beneficial effects of targeting single cytokines into question, the overactive immune system remains a promising target for therapeutic interventions, which aim at slowing down disease progression. Broader approaches are required. These comprise targeting bacterial lipopolysaccharide (endotoxin) that enters the circulation through the oedematous gut wall, immune modulation therapy with patient-derived whole blood exposed to oxidative stress, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (the so-called statins) and a number of other substances including pentoxifylline and thalidomide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-176
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Opinion on Investigational Drugs
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005


  • Heart failure
  • Immune modulation
  • Inflammation
  • Statins
  • TNF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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