Mechanisms responsible for increased circulating levels of galectin-3 in cardiomyopathy and heart failure

My Nhan Nguyen, Yidan Su, Donna Vizi, Lu Fang, Andris H. Ellims, Wei Bo Zhao, Helen Kiriazis, Xiao Ming Gao, Junichi Sadoshima, Andrew J. Taylor, Julie R. McMullen, Anthony M. Dart, David M. Kaye, Xiao Jun Du

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32 Citations (Scopus)


Galectin-3 is a biomarker of heart disease. However, it remains unknown whether increase in galectin-3 levels is dependent on aetiology or disease-associated conditions and whether diseased heart releases galectin-3 into the circulation. We explored these questions in mouse models of heart disease and in patients with cardiomyopathy. All mouse models (dilated cardiomyopathy, DCM; fibrotic cardiomyopathy, ischemia-reperfusion, I/R; treatment with β-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol) showed multi-fold increases in cardiac galectin-3 expression and preserved renal function. In mice with fibrotic cardiomyopathy, I/R or isoproterenol treatment, plasma galectin-3 levels and density of cardiac inflammatory cells were elevated. These models also exhibited parallel changes in cardiac and plasma galectin-3 levels and presence of trans-cardiac galectin-3 gradient, indicating cardiac release of galectin-3. DCM mice showed no change in circulating galectin-3 levels nor trans-cardiac galectin-3 gradient or myocardial inflammatory infiltration despite a 50-fold increase in cardiac galectin-3 content. In patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or DCM, plasma galectin-3 increased only in those with renal dysfunction and a trans-cardiac galectin-3 gradient was not present. Collectively, this study documents the aetiology-dependency and diverse mechanisms of increment in circulating galectin-3 levels. Our findings highlight cardiac inflammation and enhanced β-adrenoceptor activation in mediating elevated galectin-3 levels via cardiac release in the mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8213
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

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