ABSTRACT: Fibroblast growth factor 9 (FGF9) is secreted from bone marrow cells, which have been shown to improve systolic function after myocardial infarction (MI) in a clinical trial. FGF9 promotes cardiac vascularization during embryonic development but is only weakly expressed in the adult heart.
We used a tetracycline-responsive binary transgene system based on the α-myosin heavy chain promoter to test whether conditional expression of FGF9 in the adult myocardium supports adaptation after MI. In sham-operated mice, transgenic FGF9 stimulated left ventricular hypertrophy with microvessel expansion and preserved systolic and diastolic function. After coronary artery ligation, transgenic FGF9 enhanced hypertrophy of the noninfarcted left ventricular myocardium with increased microvessel density, reduced interstitial fibrosis, attenuated fetal gene expression, and improved systolic function. Heart failure mortality after MI was markedly reduced by transgenic FGF9, whereas rupture rates were not affected. Adenoviral FGF9 gene transfer after MI similarly promoted left ventricular hypertrophy with improved systolic function and reduced heart failure mortality. Mechanistically, FGF9 stimulated proliferation and network formation of endothelial cells but induced no direct hypertrophic effects in neonatal or adult rat cardiomyocytes in vitro. FGF9-stimulated endothelial cell supernatants, however, induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy via paracrine release of bone morphogenetic protein 6. In accord with this observation, expression of bone morphogenetic protein 6 and phosphorylation of its downstream targets SMAD1/5 were increased in the myocardium of FGF9 transgenic mice.
Conditional expression of FGF9 promotes myocardial vascularization and hypertrophy with enhanced systolic function and reduced heart failure mortality after MI. These observations suggest a previously unrecognized therapeutic potential for FGF9 after MI.
Circulation 02/2011; 123(5):504-14. · 14.74 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Growth-differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15) is emerging as a prognostic biomarker in patients with coronary artery disease. Little is known about GDF-15 as a biomarker in patients with heart failure.
The circulating concentration of GDF-15 was measured at baseline (n=1734) and at 12 months (n=1517) in patients randomized in the Valsartan Heart Failure Trial (Val-HeFT). GDF-15 levels at baseline ranged from 259 to 25 637 ng/L and were abnormally high (>1200 ng/L) in 85% of patients. Higher levels were associated with features of worse heart failure and biomarkers of neurohormonal activation, inflammation, myocyte injury, and renal dysfunction. Baseline GDF-15 levels (per 100 ng/L) were associated with the risks of mortality (hazard ratio, 1.017; 95% confidence interval, 1.014 to 1.019; P<0.001) and first morbid event (hazard ratio, 1.020; 95% confidence interval, 1.017 to 1.023; P<0.001). In a comprehensive multiple-variable Cox regression model that included clinical prognostic variables, B-type natriuretic peptide, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and high-sensitivity troponin T, GDF-15 remained independently associated with mortality (hazard ratio, 1.007; 95% confidence interval, 1.001 to 1.014; P=0.02) but not first morbid event. At 12 months, the GDF-15 levels had increased by a similar amount in the placebo and valsartan groups (P=0.94). Increases in GDF-15 over 12 months were independently associated with the risks of future mortality and first morbid event also after adjustment for clinical prognostic variables, B-type natriuretic peptide, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and high-sensitivity troponin T and their changes.
GDF-15 reflects information from several pathological pathways and provides independent prognostic information in heart failure. GDF-15 levels increase over time, suggesting that GDF-15 reflects a pathophysiological axis that is not completely addressed by the therapies prescribed in Val-HeFT.
Circulation 10/2010; 122(14):1387-95. · 14.74 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Growth-differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15) has emerged as a prognostic biomarker in patients with non-ST-segment-elevation acute coronary syndrome. This study assessed the time course and the long-term prognostic relevance of GDF-15 levels measured repetitively in patients with non-ST-segment-elevation acute coronary syndrome during 6 months after the acute event.
GDF-15 and other biomarkers were measured at randomization, after 6 weeks, and after 3 and 6 months in 950 patients with non-ST-segment-elevation acute coronary syndrome included in the FRagmin and Fast Revascularization during InStability in Coronary artery disease II study. Study end points were death, recurrent myocardial infarction, and their composite during 5-year follow-up. Median GDF-15 levels decreased slightly from 1357 ng/L at randomization to 1302 ng/L at 6 months (P<0.001). GDF-15 was consistently related to cardiovascular risk factors and biochemical markers of hemodynamic stress, renal dysfunction, and inflammation. Moreover, GDF-15 was independently related to the 5-year risk of the composite end point when measured at both 3 months (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.8 [1.0 to 3.0]) and 6 months (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.3 [1.3 to 4.1]). Serial measurements of GDF-15 at randomization and 6 months helped to identify patient cohorts at different levels of risk, with patients with persistently elevated GDF-15 levels >1800 ng/L having the highest rate of the composite end point.
GDF-15 is independently related to adverse events in non-ST-segment-elevation acute coronary syndrome both in the acute setting and for at least 6 months after clinical stabilization. Therefore, continued research on GDF-15 should be focused on the usefulness of GDF-15 for support of clinical management in acute and chronic ischemic heart disease.
Circulation Cardiovascular Genetics 02/2010; 3(1):88-96. · 6.11 Impact Factor