Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers may have anti-inflammatory actions, an effect that could explain some of their beneficial effects on cardiovascular events in clinical trials. Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is associated with a systemic inflammatory response and provides a convenient model to examine the effects of such agents. Genetic polymorphisms may be important in influencing the expression of cytokines, such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) We randomized men awaiting CABG to treatment with enalapril, losartan, or control for 2 months before surgery. Systemic IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and IL-1 receptor agonists were measured before and after surgery, and genotypes for the -174 G/C and -572 G/C IL-6 gene polymorphisms were determined. Total release of the IL-1 receptor agonist was decreased 29% by enalapril and 31% by losartan (adjusted p = 0.041). IL-6 was decreased 17% by enalapril and 20% by losartan. Subjects possessing the -174 GG genotype produced 20% more IL-6 (adjusted p = 0.029). In these high producers of IL-6, release of IL-6 was decreased 51% by enalapril (adjusted p = 0.001) and 32% by losartan (adjusted p = 0.068). Release of IL-10 was nonsignificantly decreased 26% by enalapril and 21% by losartan, whereas IL-8 was not detected. In conclusion, enalapril and losartan significantly decreased release of the IL-1 receptor agonist after CABG. Enalapril produced a highly significant decrease of 51% in the release of IL-6 in patients identified as high producers of IL-6 by the -174 G/C polymorphism, whereas losartan has a similar but less marked effect. The production of IL-6 in this setting is influenced by the -174 G/C polymorphism. (C) 2004 by Excerpta Medica, Inc
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