IL-18 level in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting surgery or valve replacement: Which link with epicardial fat depot?

E. Dozio, G. Dogliotti, A. E. Malavazos, F. Bandera, G. Cassetti, E. Vianello, R. Zelaschi, A. Barassi, G. Pellissero, U. Solimene, L. Morricone, A. Sigruener, V. Tarabin, G. Schmitz, L. Menicanti, M. M. Corsi Romanelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interleukin-18 (IL-18) is a member of the interleukin-1 family of cytokines produced constitutively by different cell types and by adipose tissue. Due to the link between obesity, inflammation and cardiovascular diseases, we aimed to measure IL-18 circulating level in patients undergoing open-heart surgery both for elective coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or for valve replacement (VR), and we also evaluated whether epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) depot may be a potential source of IL-18. Circulating IL-18 protein was quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. IL-18, IL-18 receptor 1 (IL-18 R1) and IL-18 receptor accessory protein (IL-18-RAP) gene expression in EAT depot were evaluated by one colour microarray platform. EAT thickness was measured by echocardiography. In this study we found that all cardiovascular patients (CABG and VR) have increased circulating IL-18 level compared to healthy control subjects (p <0.0001), but no statistical significant difference was observed between CABG and VR groups (p = 0.35). A great increase in the gene expression of IL-18 (p <0.05), IL-18 R1 (p <0.01) and IL-18 RAP (p <0.001) was observed in EAT samples obtained from CABG vs VR patients. In conclusion, CABG and VR patients had similar increased level of circulating IL-18 protein, but in EAT depots isolated from CABG gene expression of IL-18, IL-18 R1 and IL-18-RAP resulted higher than in VR patients. Future investigation on local IL-18 protein production, its autocrine-paracrine effect and its correlation with plasmatic IL-18 level could give more information on the relationship between IL-18 and coronary artery disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1011-1020
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • Adiposity
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Coronary artery bypass grafting surgery
  • Epicardial fat depot
  • Interleukin-18
  • Valve replacement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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