Background: Suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1) is a negative regulator of cytokine signaling whose expression is induced in the rat heart by cardiotrophin-1 (CT-1). Sepsis-induced myocardial depression results from the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) evoked by inflammatory cytokines. Methods and Results: The effect of CT-1 on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced cardiac dysfunction was examined in a rat model of sepsis. In the absence of CT-1, LPS (1 mg/kg ip) elicited a reduction of systolic function and dilation of the ventricular cavity within 3-6 h after administration. These physiological effects were accompanied by increased ventricular phosphorylation of signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) 1 and STAT3, activation of nuclear factor-• B• and expression of iNOS mRNA. Notably, administration of CT-1 (20• g •/kg iv) immediately prior to LPS significantly inhibited all of these LPS-induced changes. To determine whether SOCS1 expression in cardiomyocytes is sufficient to inhibit LPS- and cytokine-induced expression of iNOS mRNA, the effects of forced expression of SOCS1 in cultured neonatal cardiomyocytes were investigated using an adenovirus-mediated transfection system. Forced expression of SOCS1 significantly inhibited iNOS transcription induced by LPS, tumor necrosis factor-• •or interferon-•.• Conclusions: CT-1-mediated expression of SOCS1 in cardiomyocytes may be a useful target for preventing sepsis-induced myocardial depression.
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