Archives of virology

In vivo delivery of interleukin-35 relieves coxsackievirus-B3-induced viral myocarditis by inhibiting Th17 cells.

PMID 24788848


Interleukin (IL)-35 is a new member of the IL-12 cytokine family. The suppressive role of IL-35 in the immune response to parasitic and bacterial infections and in autoimmunity has been demonstrated in terms of its anti-inflammatory properties. However, the functional role of IL-35 in viral myocarditis has not been investigated. In this study, IL-35 expression was measured in heart tissues with coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3)-induced myocarditis. It was significantly reduced in the late stage of viral infection and correlated negatively with disease severity. To examine the therapeutic role of IL-35 in viral myocarditis, an IL-35-expressing plasmid (pIL-35-FC) was packaged with polyethyleneimine and delivered intraperitoneally to BALB/c male mice before and after CVB3 infection. The severity of myocarditis was assessed 7xa0days after infection. The in vivo delivery of IL-35 significantly ameliorated the severity of viral myocarditis, reflected in an increased survival rate and increased bodyweights, and reduced serum creatine kinase (CK) and CK-MB activities, cardiac pathological scores, and viral replication. We also show that the overexpression of IL-35 reduced splenic Th17 cells and Th17-related proinflammatory cytokines in heart tissues. In conclusion, our data indicate that IL-35 effectively protects the myocardium from the pathogenesis of CVB3-induced viral myocarditis, which may be attributable to reduced Th17 production. This suggests that supplementation with IL-35 could be a novel therapeutic treatment for viral myocarditis.