Reduced numbers of regulatory T cells in chronic heart failure seems not to be restored by cardiac resynchronization therapy

Sílvia Martins, Natália António, Tiago Carvalheiro, Paula Laranjeira, Ricardo Rodrigues, Lino Gonçalves, Cândida Tomaz, Artur Paiva

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftArtikelpeer review


BACKGROUND: T cells have been implicated in the development and progression of inflammatory processes in chronic heart failure (CHF). Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) has beneficial effects on symptoms and cardiac remodeling in CHF. However, its impact on the inflammatory immune response remains controversial. We aimed to study the impact of CRT on T cells in heart failure (HF) patients.

METHODS: Thirty-nine HF patients were evaluated before CRT (T0) and six months later (T6). Quantification of T cells, their subsets, and their functional characterization, after in vitro stimulation, were evaluated by flow cytometry.

RESULTS: T regulatory (Treg) cells were decreased in CHF patients (healthy group (HG): 1.08 ± 0.50 versus (heart failure patients (HFP)-T0: 0.69 ± 0.40, P = 0.022) and remaining diminished after CRT (HFP-T6: 0.61 ± 0.29, P = 0.003). Responders (R) to CRT presented a higher frequency of T cytotoxic (Tc) cells producing IL-2 at T0 compared with non-responders (NR) (R: 36.52 ± 12.55 versus NR: 24.71 ± 11.66, P = 0.006). After CRT, HF patients presented a higher percentage of Tc cells expressing TNF-α and IFN-γ (HG: 44.50 ± 16.62 versus R: 61.47 ± 20.54, P = 0.014; and HG: 40.62 ± 15.36 versus R: 52.39 ± 18.66, P = 0.049, respectively).

CONCLUSION: The dynamic of different functional T cell subpopulations is significantly altered in CHF, which results in an exacerbated pro-inflammatory response. Even after CRT, it seems that the inflammatory condition underlying CHF continues to evolve with the progression of the disease. This could be due, at least in part, to the inability to restore Treg cells levels.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Observational and prospective study with no trial registration.

Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)89
TijdschriftBMC cardiovascular disorders
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusGepubliceerd - 15 feb. 2023


  • Cardiac resynchronization Therapy
  • Chronic heart failure
  • Immune response
  • T cells, cytokines profile


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