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1.  Association of Interleukin 8 and Myocardial Recovery in Patients with ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction Complicated by Acute Heart Failure 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e112359.
No data from controlled trials exists regarding the inflammatory response in patients with de novo heart failure (HF) complicating ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and a possible role in the recovery of contractile function. We therefore explored the time course and possible associations between levels of inflammatory markers and recovery of impaired left ventricular function as well as levosimendan treatment in STEMI patients in a substudy of the LEvosimendan in Acute heart Failure following myocardial infarction (LEAF) trial.
A total of 61 patients developing HF within 48 hours after a primary PCI-treated STEMI were randomised double-blind to a 25 hours infusion of levosimendan or placebo. Levels of IL-6, CRP, sIL-6R, sgp130, MCP-1, IL-8, MMP-9, sICAM-1, sVCAM-1 and TNF-α were measured at inclusion (median 22 h, interquartile range (IQR) 14, 29 after PCI), on day 1, day 2, day 5 and 6 weeks. Improvement in left ventricular function was evaluated as change in wall motion score index (WMSI) by echocardiography.
Only circulating levels of IL-8 at inclusion were associated with change in WMSI from baseline to 6 weeks, r = ÷0.41 (p = 0.002). No association, however, was found between IL-8 and WMSI at inclusion or peak troponin T. Furthermore, there was a significant difference in change in WMSI from inclusion to 6 weeks between patients with IL-8 levels below, compared to above median value, ÷0.44 (IQR÷0.57, ÷0.19) vs. ÷0.07 (IQR÷0.27, 0.07), respectively (p<0.0001). Levosimendan did not affect the levels of inflammary markers compared to control.
High levels of IL-8 in STEMI patients complicated with HF were associated with less improvement in left ventricular function during the first 6 weeks after PCI, suggesting a possible role of IL-8 in the reperfusion-related injury of post-ischemic myocardium. Further studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis.
Trial Registration NCT00324766
PMCID: PMC4229310  PMID: 25390695
2.  The Influence of Autologous Bone Marrow Stem Cell Transplantation on Matrix Metalloproteinases in Patients Treated for Acute ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction 
Mediators of Inflammation  2014;2014:385901.
Background. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), regulated by tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-9 (TIMP-1) and the extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer (EMMPRIN), contributes to plaque instability. Autologous stem cells from bone marrow (mBMC) treatment are suggested to reduce myocardial damage; however, limited data exists on the influence of mBMC on MMPs. Aim. We investigated the influence of mBMC on circulating levels of MMP-9, TIMP-1, and EMMPRIN at different time points in patients included in the randomized Autologous Stem-Cell Transplantation in Acute Myocardial Infarction (ASTAMI) trial (n = 100). Gene expression analyses were additionally performed. Results. After 2-3 weeks we observed a more pronounced increase in MMP-9 levels in the mBMC group, compared to controls (P = 0.030), whereas EMMPRIN levels were reduced from baseline to 2-3 weeks and 3 months in both groups (P < 0.0001). Gene expression of both MMP-9 and EMMPRIN was reduced from baseline to 3 months. MMP-9 and EMMPRIN were significantly correlated to myocardial injury (CK: P = 0.005 and P < 0.001, resp.) and infarct size (SPECT: P = 0.018 and P = 0.008, resp.). Conclusion. The results indicate that the regulation of metalloproteinases is important during AMI, however, limited influenced by mBMC.
PMCID: PMC4177825  PMID: 25294955
3.  The MMP-9 -1562 C/T Polymorphism in the Presence of Metabolic Syndrome Increases the Risk of Clinical Events in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e106816.
Background and Objectives
Elevated levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 have been associated with the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and cardiovascular events. The MMP-9 −1562 C/T polymorphism has furthermore been shown as a risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD). The non-favourable cardiometabolic state in MetS may increase the risk. We aimed to investigate the influence of MMP-9 −1562 C/T polymorphism in subjects with CAD and MetS.
Patients (n = 1000) with verified CAD stratified in Mets +/− (n = 244/756), were analyzed for the MMP-9 −1562 C/T polymorphism and related to clinical events after 2 years follow-up. Serum levels of total MMP-9 and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases (TIMP)-1were analyzed in all, whereas MMP-9 activity, extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer (EMMPRIN), and expression of the two genes were analyzed in a subset of 240 randomly selected patients.
Totally, 106 clinical endpoints were recorded. In MetS; the T-allele associated with 5.5 fold increase in event rate (p<0.0001), increased with number of MetS components, a 117% increase in total MMP-9 levels (TT homozygous, p = 0.05), significantly higher total- and endogenous active MMP-9 and TIMP-1 levels (p<0.01 all), and EMMPRIN was inversely correlated with pro- and endogenous active MMP-9 (p<0.05, both). In non-MetS; the T-allele was not associated with new events, nor higher MMP-9 levels. EMMPRIN was significantly correlated with total MMP-9 and TIMP-1 (p<0.01, both) and the two genes were inter-correlated (p<0.001).
In CAD patients with MetS, the MMP-9 T-allele increased the risk of clinical events, probably mediated through elevated MMP-9 levels and altered MMP-9 regulation.
PMCID: PMC4156385  PMID: 25191702
4.  Effects of omega 3 supplementation in elderly patients with acute myocardial infarction: design of a prospective randomized placebo controlled study 
BMC Geriatrics  2014;14:74.
Both epidemiological and randomized clinical studies suggest that supplementation with very-long-chain marine polyunsaturated n-3 fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) have cardioprotective effects, however these results are not without controversy. Study population, sample-size, type of supplementation and type of endpoint have all varied widely accross different studies.
Therefore, the aims of the present study are to evaluate the effect of 2 years supplementation with capsules of very-long chain marine n-3 PUFA on top of standard therapy in elderly patients after acute myocardial infarction (AMI).
In addition, special characteristics of this population with regard to prediction of clinical outcome will be investigated. The hypothesis is that this supplementation on top of modern therapy will reduce the occurence of major cardiovascular events (MACE). We present the design of the OMEMI (OMega-3 fatty acids in Elderly patients with Myocardial Infarction) study.
The OMEMI study is designed as a randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind multicenter trial.
Included are patients ≥70-82 years of age who have sustained AMI. Patients of either gender are eligible. Sample size calculation based on existing literature has resulted in the need for 1400 patients followed for 2 years, based on the assumption that the n-3 PUFA supplementation will reduce MACE with 30%. The study medication is Pikasol® Axellus AS, Norway, 3 capsules (1.8 g eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) + docohexaenoic acid (DHA)) per day, and matching placebo is corn oil. The Primary end-point is the composite of total mortality, first non-fatal recurring AMI, stroke and revascularization. Secondary end-point is the occurrence of new onset atrial fibrillation. Extensive biobanking will be performed, including adipose tissue biopsies. Compliance will be assessed by measurements of the fatty acid profile in serum, sampled at inclusion, after 12 months and at the end of study.
The OMEMI study is scheduled to terminate when the last included patient has been followed for 2 years. To the best of our knowledge, the OMEMI study is the first to evaluate the effect of n-3 PUFAs on CVDs and mortality in a high risk elderly population having suffered an acute myocardial infarction.
Trial registration, NCT01841944
PMCID: PMC4074832  PMID: 24928284
Omega 3 fatty acids; Acute myocardial infarction; Randomized placebo controlled trial; Elderly
5.  The Time Profile of Pentraxin 3 in Patients with Acute ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction and Stable Angina Pectoris Undergoing Percutaneous Coronary Intervention 
Mediators of Inflammation  2014;2014:608414.
Background. High levels of Pentraxin 3 (PTX3) are reported in acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Aim. To investigate circulating levels and gene expression of PTX3 in patients with AMI and stable angina pectoris (AP) undergoing PCI. Methods. Ten patients with AP and 20 patients with AMI were included. Blood samples were drawn before PCI in the AP group and after 3 and 12 hours and days 1, 3, 5, 7, and 14 in both groups. Results. Circulating PTX3 levels were higher in AMI compared to AP at 3 and 12 hours (P < 0.001 and P = 0.003). Within the AMI group, reduction from 3 hours to all later time points was observed (all P ≤ 0.001). Within the AP group, increase from baseline to 3 hours (P = 0.022), followed by reductions thereafter (all P < 0.05), was observed. PTX3 mRNA increased in the AMI group from 3 hours to days 7 and 14 in a relative manner of 62% and 73%, while a relative reduction from baseline to 3 and 12 hours of 29% and 37% was seen in the AP group. Conclusion. High circulating PTX3 levels shortly after PCI in AMI indicate that AMI itself influences PTX3 levels. PTX3 mRNA might be in response to fluctuations in circulating levels.
PMCID: PMC3967811  PMID: 24737925
6.  Insulin levels and HOMA index are associated with exercise capacity in patients with type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease 
Previous studies on type 2 diabetes have shown an association between exercise capacity and insulin resistance. In patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) exercise capacity is often reduced due to exercise-induced ischemia. We have investigated the association between glucometabolic control, including the homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) of insulin resistance, and exercise capacity in patients with type 2 diabetes and CAD with and without exercise-induced ischemia.
In 137 patients (age 63.1 ± 7.9) cardiopulmonary exercise testing on treadmill was performed using a modified Balke protocol. The highest oxygen uptake (VO2peak) was reported as 30-s average. Fasting blood samples were drawn for determination of glucose, insulin and HbA1c. Insulin resistance (IR) was assessed by the HOMA2-IR computer model. Exercise-induced ischemia was defined as angina and/ or ST-depression in ECG ≥ 0.1 mV during the exercise test.
HOMA2-IR was inversely correlated to VO2peak (r = -0.328, p < 0.001), still significant after adjusting for age, gender, smoking and BMI. Patients with HOMA2-IR above the median value (1.3) had an adjusted odds ratio of 3.26 (95 % CI 1.35 to 7.83, p = 0.008) for having VO2peak below median (23.8 mL/kg/min). Insulin levels were inversely correlated to VO2peak (r = -0.245, p = 0.010), also after adjusting for age and gender, but not after additional adjustment for BMI. The correlation between HOMA2-IR and VO2peak was also significant in the subgroups with (n = 51) and without exercise-induced ischemia (n = 86), being numerically stronger in the group with ischemia (r = -0.430, p = 0.003 and r = -0.276, p = 0.014, respectively). Fasting glucose and HbA1c were not correlated with VO2peak or AT.
Insulin resistance, as estimated by fasting insulin and the HOMA index, was inversely associated with exercise capacity in patients with type 2 diabetes and CAD, the association being more pronounced in the subgroup with exercise-induced ischemia. These results indicate that insulin resistance is related to exercise capacity in type 2 diabetic patients with CAD, possibly even more so in patients with exercise-induced ischemia compared to those without.
PMCID: PMC3984726  PMID: 24612649
Coronary artery disease; Type 2 diabetes; Insulin resistance; HOMA index; VO2max
7.  IL-6 signalling in patients with acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction 
Results in Immunology  2013;4:8-13.
Cytokines of the IL-6 family have been related to infarct size and prognosis in patients with myocardial infarction. The aims of the present study were to elucidate possible associations between myocardial necrosis and left ventricular impairment and members of the IL-6 transsignalling system including soluble (s) IL-6R and (s) glycoprotein 130 (sgp130) in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) treated with primary PCI.
In blood samples from 1028 STEMI patients, collected in-hosptial, we found significant correlations between peak TnT and IL-6 and CRP (p < 0.001, all) and between IL-6 and CRP and LV ejection fraction and NT-proBNP (p < 0.001, all). On the contrary, no significant associations were found between peak TnT and sgp130 or sIL-6R. Furthermore sgp130 was significantly elevated in diabetic patients and also associated with the glucometabolic state.
In conclusion, circulating levels of IL-6 and CRP, but not the soluble forms of the receptor (sIL-6R) or the receptor signalling subunit (sgp130) were associated with the extent of myocardial necrosis. The biological importance of the IL-6/gp130-mediated signalling pathways in patients with acute myocardial infarction and dysglycemia should be further elucidated.
•Circulating levels of IL-6 and CRP, but not sgp130 and sIL-6R were associated with the extent of myocardial necrosis.•Circulating levels of sgp130 were weakly associated with impaired LV function and glucometabolic state.•Circulating levels of sIL-6R were not associated with either impaired LV function or glucometabolic state.
PMCID: PMC3973821  PMID: 24707455
ST-elevation myocardial infarction; IL-6; sgp130; sIL-6R; Myocardial necrosis; sgp130, soluble glycoprotein 130; sIL-6R, soluble interleukin -6 receptor; PCI, percutaneous coronary intervention; STEMI, ST-elevation myocardial infarction; LVEF, left ventricular ejection fraction
9.  The Co-Existence of the IL-18+183 A/G and MMP-9 -1562 C/T Polymorphisms Is Associated with Clinical Events in Coronary Artery Disease Patients 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e74498.
Interleukin (IL)-18 has been associated with severity of atherosclerosis and discussed to predict cardiovascular (CV) events. We have previously shown that the IL-18+183 G-allele significantly reduces IL-18 levels. This study was aimed to investigate the prognostic significance of the IL-18+183 A/G polymorphism (rs5744292), single and in coexistence with the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 -1562 C/T (rs3918242) polymorphism, in patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD). Serum levels of IL-18, MMP-9 and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 were additionally assessed.
1001 patients with angiographically verified CAD were genotyped and the biomarkers were measured accordingly. After two years follow-up, 10.6% experienced new clinical events; acute myocardial infarction (AMI), stroke, unstable angina pectoris and death.
The IL-18+183 G-allele associated with 35% risk reduction in composite endpoints after adjusting for potential covariates (p = 0.044). The IL-18+183 AA/MMP-9 -1562 CT/TT combined genotypes associated with a significant increase in risk of composite endpoints (OR = 1.87; 95% CI = 1.13–3.11, p = 0.015, adjusted). Patients with clinical events presented with significantly higher IL-18 levels as compared to patients without (p = 0.011, adjusted). The upper tertile of IL-18 levels associated with an increase in risk of AMI as compared to lower tertiles (OR = 2.36; 95% CI = 1.20–4.64, p = 0.013, adjusted).
The IL-18+183 A/G polymorphism, single and in combination with MMP-9 genotypes, may influence the risk of clinical events in stable CAD patients.
PMCID: PMC3764212  PMID: 24040261
10.  The Effects of Long-Term Oral Benfotiamine Supplementation on Peripheral Nerve Function and Inflammatory Markers in Patients With Type 1 Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2012;35(5):1095-1097.
To study the effects of long-term oral benfotiamine supplementation on peripheral nerve function and soluble inflammatory markers in patients with type 1 diabetes.
The study randomly assigned 67 patients with type 1 diabetes to receive 24-month benfotiamine (300 mg/day) or placebo supplementation. Peripheral nerve function and levels of soluble inflammatory variables were assessed at baseline and at 24 months.
Fifty-nine patients completed the study. Marked increases in whole-blood concentrations of thiamine and thiamine diphosphate were found in the benfotiamine group (both P < 0.001 vs. placebo). However, no significant differences in changes in peripheral nerve function or soluble inflammatory biomarkers were observed between the groups.
Our findings suggest that high-dose benfotiamine (300 mg/day) supplementation over 24 months has no significant effects upon peripheral nerve function or soluble markers of inflammation in patients with type 1 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3329837  PMID: 22446172
11.  Prothrombotic markers in patients with acute myocardial infarction and left ventricular thrombus formation treated with pci and dual antiplatelet therapy 
Thrombosis Journal  2013;11:1.
The aim of the present study was to compare circulating levels of selected prothrombotic markers in patients suffering acute myocardial infarction (AMI) with and without left ventricular (LV) thrombus.
One hundred patients with AMI treated with PCI on the LAD and dual antiplatelet therapy were included. LV thrombus formation was detected by echocardiography and/or MRI in 15 patients. Fasting blood samples were drawn 4–5 days (baseline), 6–7 days, 8–9 days, 2–3 weeks and 3 months after the AMI for determination of haemostatic markers.
We found higher levels of soluble tissue factor (TF) and D-dimer in the LV thrombus group 4–5 days, 8–9 days and 3 months (only TF) after the AMI compared to the patients without thrombus formation (p<0.05). Patients with TF in the upper quartile at baseline had significantly higher risk for LV thrombus (OR 4.2; 95% CI 1.2 -14.5; p=0.02, adjusted for infarct size).
The levels of prothrombin fragment 1+2 (F1+2) and endogenous thrombin potential (ETP) were significantly lower in the thrombus group after 8–9 days (only ETP), 2–3 weeks and 3 months. The levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 activity and tissue plasminogen activator antigen did not differ between the groups.
In the acute phase of AMI, we found higher levels of TF and D-dimer in the LV thrombus group, indicating hypercoagulability of possible importance for the generation of mural thrombus. Lower levels of F1+2, ETP and D-dimer in the thrombus group late during follow-up are probably induced by the initiated anticoagulation therapy.
PMCID: PMC3554510  PMID: 23311309
Acute myocardial infarction; Haemostatic markers; Inflammation; Left ventricular thrombus formation
12.  Markers of hypercoagulability in CAD patients. Effects of single aspirin and clopidogrel treatment 
Thrombosis Journal  2012;10:12.
Cardiovascular disease with disturbances in the haemostatic system, might lead to thrombotic complications with clinical manifestations like acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and stroke. Activation of the coagulation cascade with subsequent increased thrombin generation, characterizes a prothrombotic phenotype. In the present study we investigated whether prothrombotic markers were associated with risk factors and clinical subgroups in a cohort of patients with angiographically verified coronary artery disease (CAD). The patients were randomized to long-term treatment with the antiplatelet drugs aspirin or clopidogrel, and we further investigated the effect on hypercoagulability of such treatment for 1 year, of which limited data exists.
Venous blood samples were collected in fasting condition between 08:00 and 10:30 am, at baseline when all patients were on aspirin therapy (n = 1001) and in 276 patients after 1 year follow-up on aspirin or clopidogrel. In vivo thrombin generation was assessed by prothrombin fragment 1 + 2 (F1+2) and D-dimer, and the endogenous thrombin potentiale (ETP) in the calibrated automated thrombogram (CAT) assay, representing ex vivo thrombin generation. In addition soluble tissue factor (sTF) and free- and total tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) were measured.
We found age to be significantly associated with F1+2 and D-dimer (β = 0.229 and β =0.417 respectively, p <0.001, both). Otherwise, only weak associations were found. F1+2 and D-dimer were higher in women compared to men (p <0.001 and p = 0.033, respectively). Smokers had elevated levels of ETP compared to non-smokers (p = 0.014). Additionally, patients on renin-angiotensin system (RAS) inhibition showed significantly higher levels of F1+2, compared to non-users (p = 0.013). Both aspirin and clopidogrel reduced levels of ETP after 12 months intervention (p = 0.003 and p <0.001, respectively) and the levels of F1+2 were significantly more reduced on aspirin compared to clopidogrel (p = 0.023).
In the present population of stable CAD, we could demonstrate a more hypercoagulable profile among women, smokers and patients on RAS medication, assessed by the prothrombotic markers F1+2, D-dimer and ETP. Long-term antiplatelet treatment with aspirin alone seems to attenuate thrombin generation to a greater extent than with clopidogrel alone. The study is registered at NCT00222261.
PMCID: PMC3552672  PMID: 22883224
Thrombin generation; Coronary artery disease; Hypercoagulability; Prothrombotic markers; The CAT assay; Endogenous thrombin potentiale; Antiplatelet treatment; Aspirin; Clopidogrel
13.  High On-Aspirin Platelet Reactivity and Clinical Outcome in Patients With Stable Coronary Artery Disease: Results From ASCET (Aspirin Nonresponsiveness and Clopidogrel Endpoint Trial) 
Patients with stable coronary artery disease on single-antiplatelet therapy with aspirin are still at risk for atherothrombotic events, and high on-aspirin residual platelet reactivity (RPR) has been suggested as a risk factor.
Methods and Results
In this randomized trial, the association between platelet function determined by the PFA100 platelet function analyzer system (Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, Germany) and clinical outcome in 1001 patients, all on single-antiplatelet therapy with aspirin (160 mg/d) was studied. Patients were randomized to continue with aspirin 160 mg/d or change to clopidogrel 75 mg/d. A composite end point of death, myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, and unstable angina was used. At 2-year follow-up, 106 primary end points were registered. The prevalence of high RPR was 25.9%. High on-aspirin RPR did not significantly influence the primary end point in the aspirin group (13.3% versus 9.9%, P=0.31). However, in post hoc analysis, patients with von Willebrand factor levels or platelet count below median values and high on-aspirin RPR had a statistically significant higher end point rate than that of patients with low RPR (20% versus 7.5%, P=0.014, and 18.2% versus 10.8%, P=0.039, respectively). The composite end point rate in patients with high on-aspirin RPR treated with clopidogrel was not different from that of patients treated with aspirin (7.6% versus 13.3%, P=0.16).
In stable, aspirin-treated patients with coronary artery disease, high on-aspirin RPR did not relate to clinical outcome and did not identify a group responsive to clopidogrel. Post hoc subgroup analysis raised the possibility that high on-aspirin RPR might be predictive in patients with low von Willebrand factor or platelet count, but these findings will require confirmation in future studies.
Clinical Trial Registration
URL: Unique identifier: NCT00222261. (J Am Heart Assoc. 2012;1:e000703 doi: 10.1161/JAHA.112.000703.)
PMCID: PMC3487336  PMID: 23130135
antiplatelet therapy; aspirin; clopidogrel; residual platelet reactivity; angina, stable
14.  Activin A Levels Are Associated With Abnormal Glucose Regulation in Patients With Myocardial Infarction 
Diabetes  2011;60(5):1544-1551.
On the basis of the role of activin A in inflammation, atherogenesis, and glucose homeostasis, we investigated whether activin A could be related to glucometabolic abnormalities in patients with acute myocardial infarction (MI).
Activin A measurement and oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs) were performed in patients (n = 115) with acute MI, without previously known diabetes, and repeated after 3 months. Release of activin A and potential anti-inflammatory effects of activin A were measured in human endothelial cells. Activin A effects on insulin secretion and inflammation were tested in human pancreatic islet cells.
1) In patients with acute MI, serum levels of activin A were significantly higher in those with abnormal glucose regulation (AGR) compared with those with normal glucose regulation. Activin A levels were associated with the presence of AGR 3 months later (adjusted odds ratio 5.1 [95% CI 1.73–15.17], P = 0.003). 2) In endothelial cells, glucose enhanced the release of activin A, whereas activin A attenuated the release of interleukin (IL)-8 and enhanced the mRNA levels of the antioxidant metallothionein. 3) In islet cells, activin A attenuated the suppressive effect of inflammatory cytokines on insulin release, counteracted the ability of these inflammatory cytokines to induce mRNA expression of IL-8, and induced the expression of transforming growth factor-β.
We found a significant association between activin A and newly detected AGR in patients with acute MI. Our in vitro findings suggest that this association represents a counteracting mechanism to protect against inflammation, hyperglycemia, and oxidative stress.
PMCID: PMC3292329  PMID: 21464440
15.  Circulating levels of IL-18 are significantly influenced by the IL-18 +183 A/G polymorphism in coronary artery disease patients with diabetes type 2 and the metabolic syndrome: an Observational Study 
Increased IL-18 serum levels have been associated with diabetes type 2, metabolic syndrome and the severity of atherosclerosis. The present study investigated the presence and influence of IL-18 genetic variants on gene- and protein expression in stable coronary artery disease (CAD) patients.
The +183 A/G (rs 5744292), -137 G/C (rs 187238) and -607 C/A (rs 1946518) polymorphisms were determined in 1001 patients with angiographically verified stable CAD, and in 204 healthy controls. IL-18 gene-expression was measured in circulating leukocytes in 240 randomly selected patients. Circulating IL-18 and IL-18 binding protein levels were measured immunologically in all patients.
The +183 G-allele associated significantly with lower serum levels of IL-18 (p = 0.002, adjusted for age, glucose, body mass index and gender) and a 1.13- fold higher IL-18 gene-expression (p = 0.010). No influence was observed for the -137 G/C and -607 C/A polymorphisms. The IL-18 binding protein levels were not influenced by IL-18 genotypes. IL-18 levels were significantly higher in men as compared to women, and in patients with diabetes type 2 and metabolic syndrome compared to those without (p ≤ 0.001, all). The reduction in IL-18 levels according to the +183 G-allele was 3-4 fold more pronounced in diabetes and metabolic syndrome as compared to unaffected patients.
Finally, the +183 AA genotype was more frequent in patients with hypertension (p = 0.042, adjusted for age, body mass index and gender).
The reduction in serum IL-18 levels across increasing numbers of +183G-alleles was especially apparent in patient with diabetes type 2 and metabolic syndrome, suggesting a beneficial GG genotype in relation to cardiovascular outcome in these patients.
Clinical Trial Registration Number NCT00222261
PMCID: PMC3295692  PMID: 22141572
Single nucleotide polymorphisms; IL-18 mRNA; diabetes type 2; metabolic syndrome; hypertension
16.  Impact of newly diagnosed abnormal glucose regulation on long-term prognosis in low risk patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction: A follow-up study 
Patients with acute myocardial infarction and newly detected abnormal glucose regulation have been shown to have a less favourable prognosis compared to patients with normal glucose regulation. The importance and timing of oral glucose tolerance testing (OGTT) in patients with acute myocardial infarction without known diabetes is uncertain. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the impact of abnormal glucose regulation classified by an OGTT in-hospital and at three-month follow-up on clinical outcome in patients with acute ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) without known diabetes.
Patients (n = 224, age 58 years) with a primary percutanous coronary intervention (PCI) treated STEMI were followed for clinical events (all-cause mortality, non-fatal myocardial re-infarction, recurrent ischemia causing hospital admission, and stroke). The patients were classified by a standardised 75 g OGTT at two time points, first, at a median time of 16.5 hours after hospital admission, then at three-month follow-up. Based on the OGTT results, the patients were categorised according to the WHO criteria and the term abnormal glucose regulation was defined as the sum of impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance and type 2-diabetes.
The number of patients diagnosed with abnormal glucose regulation in-hospital and at three-month was 105 (47%) and 50 (25%), respectively. During the follow up time of (median) 33 (27, 39) months, 58 (25.9%) patients experienced a new clinical event. There were six deaths, 15 non-fatal re-infarction, 33 recurrent ischemia, and four strokes. Kaplan-Meier analysis of survival free of composite end-points showed similar results in patients with abnormal and normal glucose regulation, both when classified in-hospital (p = 0.4) and re-classified three months later (p = 0.3).
Patients with a primary PCI treated STEMI, without previously known diabetes, appear to have an excellent long-term prognosis, independent of the glucometabolic state classified by an OGTT in-hospital or at three-month follow-up.
Trial registration
The trial is registered at, NCT00926133.
PMCID: PMC3173358  PMID: 21801387
17.  Genetic Variation of VKORC1 and CYP4F2 Genes Related to Warfarin Maintenance Dose in Patients with Myocardial Infarction 
The aim of this study was to investigate whether the VKORC1*3 (rs7294/9041 G > A), VKORC1*4 (rs17708472/6009 C > T), and CYP4F2 (rs2108622/1347 C > T) polymorphisms were associated with elevated warfarin maintenance dose requirements in patients with myocardial infarction (n = 105) from the Warfarin Aspirin Reinfarction Study (WARIS-II). We found significant associations between elevated warfarin dose requirements and VKORC1*3 and VKORC1*4 polymorphisms (P = .001 and P = .004, resp.), whereas CYP4F2 (1347 C > T) showed a weak association on higher warfarin dose requirements (P = .09). However, analysing these variant alleles in a regression analysis together with our previously reported data on VKORC1*2, CYP2C9*2 and CYP2C9*3 polymorphisms, gave no significant associations for neither VKORC1*3, VKORC1*4 nor CYP4F2 (1347 C > T). In conclusion, in patients with myocardial infarction, the individual contribution to warfarin dose requirements from VKORC1*3, VKORC1*4, and CYP4F2 (1347 C > T) polymorphisms was negligible. Our results indicate that pharmacogenetic testing for VKORC1*2, CYP2C9*2 and CYP2C9*3 is more informative regarding warfarin dose requirements than testing for VKORC1*3, VKORC1*4, and CYP4F2 (1347 C > T) polymorphisms.
PMCID: PMC2992873  PMID: 21127708
18.  Blood cell gene expression associated with cellular stress defense is modulated by antioxidant-rich food in a randomised controlled clinical trial of male smokers 
BMC Medicine  2010;8:54.
Plant-based diets rich in fruit and vegetables can prevent development of several chronic age-related diseases. However, the mechanisms behind this protective effect are not elucidated. We have tested the hypothesis that intake of antioxidant-rich foods can affect groups of genes associated with cellular stress defence in human blood cells. Trial registration number: NCT00520819
In an 8-week dietary intervention study, 102 healthy male smokers were randomised to either a diet rich in various antioxidant-rich foods, a kiwifruit diet (three kiwifruits/d added to the regular diet) or a control group. Blood cell gene expression profiles were obtained from 10 randomly selected individuals of each group. Diet-induced changes on gene expression were compared to controls using a novel application of the gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) on transcription profiles obtained using Affymetrix HG-U133-Plus 2.0 whole genome arrays.
Changes were observed in the blood cell gene expression profiles in both intervention groups when compared to the control group. Groups of genes involved in regulation of cellular stress defence, such as DNA repair, apoptosis and hypoxia, were significantly upregulated (GSEA, FDR q-values < 5%) by both diets compared to the control group. Genes with common regulatory motifs for aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and AhR nuclear translocator (AhR/ARNT) were upregulated by both interventions (FDR q-values < 5%). Plasma antioxidant biomarkers (polyphenols/carotenoids) increased in both groups.
The observed changes in the blood cell gene expression profiles suggest that the beneficial effects of a plant-based diet on human health may be mediated through optimization of defence processes.
PMCID: PMC2955589  PMID: 20846424
19.  Increased levels of CRP and MCP-1 are associated with previously unknown abnormal glucose regulation in patients with acute STEMI: a cohort study 
Inflammation plays an important role in the pathophysiology of both atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes and some inflammatory markers may also predict the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The aims of the present study were to assess a potential association between circulating levels of inflammatory markers and hyperglycaemia measured during an acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in patients without known diabetes, and to determine whether circulating levels of inflammatory markers measured early after an acute STEMI, were associated with the presence of abnormal glucose regulation classified by an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) at three-month follow-up in the same cohort.
Inflammatory markers were measured in fasting blood samples from 201 stable patients at a median time of 16.5 hours after a primary percutanous coronary intervention (PCI). Three months later the patients performed a standardised OGTT. The term abnormal glucose regulation was defined as the sum of the three pathological glucose categories classified according to the WHO criteria (patients with abnormal glucose regulation, n = 50).
No association was found between inflammatory markers and hyperglycaemia measured during the acute STEMI. However, the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) measured in-hospital were higher in patients classified three months later as having abnormal compared to normal glucose regulation (p = 0.031 and p = 0.016, respectively). High levels of CRP (≥ 75 percentiles (33.13 mg/L)) and MCP-1 (≥ 25 percentiles (190 ug/mL)) were associated with abnormal glucose regulation with an adjusted OR of 3.2 (95% CI 1.5, 6.8) and 7.6 (95% CI 1.7, 34.2), respectively.
Elevated levels of CRP and MCP-1 measured in patients early after an acute STEMI were associated with abnormal glucose regulation classified by an OGTT at three-month follow-up. No significant associations were observed between inflammatory markers and hyperglycaemia measured during the acute STEMI.
PMCID: PMC2940874  PMID: 20809989
20.  Gender differences of polymorphisms in the TF and TFPI genes, as related to phenotypes in patients with coronary heart disease and type-2 diabetes 
Thrombosis Journal  2010;8:7.
Tissue factor (TF) and its inhibitor tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) are the main regulators of the initiation of the coagulation process, important in atherothrombosis. In this study we have investigated the frequency of six known TF and TFPI single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in CHD patients as compared to healthy individuals. These genotypes and the phenotypes (TF, TFPI free and total antigen) were evaluated with special reference to gender and diabetes in the CHD population.
Patients with angiographically verified CHD (n = 1001; 22% women, 20% diabetics), and 204 healthy controls (28% women), were included. The investigated SNPs were: TF -1812C/T and TF -603A/G in the 5'upstream region, TF 5466A/G in intron 2, TFPI -399C/T and TFPI -287T/C in the 5'upstream region and the TFPI -33T/C in intron 7.
No significant differences in frequencies between the CHD population and the controls of any polymorphisms were observed. In the CHD population, the TF 5466 A/G SNP were significantly more frequent in women as compared to men (p < 0.001). The TF-1812C/T and the TF-603A/G SNPs were significantly more frequent in women without type-2 diabetes compared to those with diabetes (p < 0.018, both), and the heterozygous genotypes were associated with significantly lower TF plasma levels compared to the homozygous genotypes (p < 0.02, both).
The TFPI-399C/T and the TFPI-33T/C SNPs were associated with lower and higher TFPI total antigen levels, respectively (p < 0.001, both).
Genetic variations in the TF and TFPI genes seem to be associated with gender and type-2 diabetes, partly affecting their respective phenotypes.
PMCID: PMC2882354  PMID: 20444258
21.  The role of interleukin-18 in the metabolic syndrome 
The metabolic syndrome is thought to be associated with a chronic low-grade inflammation, and a growing body of evidence suggests that interleukin-18 (IL-18) might be closely related to the metabolic syndrome and its consequences. Circulating levels of IL-18 have been reported to be elevated in subjects with the metabolic syndrome, to be closely associated with the components of the syndrome, to predict cardiovascular events and mortality in populations with the metabolic syndrome and to precede the development of type 2 diabetes. IL-18 is found in the unstable atherosclerotic plaque, in adipose tissue and in muscle tissue, and is subject to several regulatory steps including cleavage by caspase-1, inactivation by IL-18 binding protein and the influence of other cytokines in modulating its interaction with the IL-18 receptor. The purpose of this review is to outline the role of IL-18 in the metabolic syndrome, with particular emphasis on cardiovascular risk and the potential effect of life style interventions.
PMCID: PMC2858122  PMID: 20331890
22.  Interleukin-18 Is a Strong Predictor of Cardiovascular Events in Elderly Men With the Metabolic Syndrome 
Diabetes Care  2009;32(3):486-492.
OBJECTIVE—The aim of this study was to investigate the role of inflammatory markers as potential predictors of cardiovascular events in subjects with and without the metabolic syndrome.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—This was a post hoc analysis from the Diet and Omega-3 Intervention Trial (DOIT), comprising 563 elderly men with (n = 221) and without (n = 342) metabolic syndrome. Circulating inflammatory markers were measured.
RESULTS—During 3 years, 68 cardiovascular events were recorded. In the total population, C-reactive protein (CRP) (P < 0.001), interleukin-18 (IL-18) (P = 0.008), and IL-6 (P = 0.003) were elevated in subjects with events. In subjects with metabolic syndrome, IL-18 was the strongest predictor (adjusted odds ratio 2.9 [95% CI 1.1–7.8]). In subjects without metabolic syndrome, only CRP seemed to be an independent predictor (3.3 [1.5–7.3]). There was a significant interaction between fasting glucose and IL-18 (P = 0.008) and IL-6 (P = 0.024) but not CRP. Elevated fasting glucose (>6.2 mmol/l) markedly increased the predictive power of inflammatory markers (IL-18: 5.5 [1.4–21.1], IL-6: 3.5 [1.0–11.8], and CRP: 3.5 [1.0–11.9]). For IL-18, there was a stepwise increase in event rate by quartiles of fasting glucose.
CONCLUSIONS—IL-18 was an independent predictor of cardiovascular events in subjects with metabolic syndrome and even more so in the presence of elevated fasting glucose. Our findings suggest a mutually potentiating effect of hyperglycemia and inflammation in cardiovascular risk prediction.
PMCID: PMC2646034  PMID: 19092166
23.  Abnormal glucose regulation in patients with acute ST- elevation myocardial infarction-a cohort study on 224 patients 
A high prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance and unknown type 2-diabetes in patients with coronary heart disease and no previous diagnosis of diabetes have been reported. The aims of the present study were to investigate the prevalence of abnormal glucose regulation (AGR) 3 months after an acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in patients without known glucometabolic disturbance, to evaluate the reliability of a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) performed very early after an acute STEMI to predict the presence of AGR at 3 months, and to study other potential predictors measured in-hospital for AGR at 3 months.
This was an observational cohort study prospectively enrolling 224 STEMI patients treated with primary PCI. An OGTT was performed very early after an acute STEMI and was repeated in 200 patients after 3 months. We summarised the exact agreement observed, and assessed the observed reproducibility of the OGTTs performed in-hospital and at follow up. The patients were classified into glucometabolic categories defined according to the World Health Organisation criteria. AGR was defined as the sum of impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance and type 2-diabetes.
The prevalence of AGR at three months was 24.9% (95% CI 19.1, 31.4%), reduced from 46.9% (95% CI 40.2, 53.6) when measured in-hospital. Only, 108 of 201 (54%) patients remained in the same glucometabolic category after a repeated OGTT. High levels of HbA1c and admission plasma glucose in-hospital significantly predicted AGR at 3 months (p < 0.001, p = 0.040, respectively), and fasting plasma glucose was predictive when patients with large myocardial infarction were excluded (p < 0.001).
The prevalence of AGR in STEMI patients was lower than expected. HbA1c, admission plasma glucose and fasting plasma glucose measured in-hospital seem to be useful as early markers of longstanding glucometabolic disturbance. An OGTT performed very early after a STEMI did not provide reliable information on long-term glucometabolic state and should probably not be recommended.
PMCID: PMC2646717  PMID: 19183453
24.  Warfarin dose and INR related to genotypes of CYP2C9 and VKORC1 in patients with myocardial infarction 
Thrombosis Journal  2008;6:7.
Warfarin treatment has a narrow therapeutic range, requiring meticulous monitoring and dosage titration. Individual dosage requirement has recently partly been explained by genetic variation of the warfarin metabolizing enzyme CYP2C9 and the Vitamin K-activating enzyme VKORC1. In the WARIS-II study, comparing three different antithrombotic regimens after myocardial infarction, warfarin treatment reduced thrombotic events, but was associated with more frequent bleeding than use of acetylsalisylic acid (ASA) alone.
The primary aim of the present study was to investigate the relation between genotypes of CYP2C9 and VKORC1 and warfarin maintenance dose in myocardial infarction. The secondary aim was to relate the genotypes to international normalized ratio (INR).
Genotyping was performed in 212 myocardial infarction patients from the WARIS-II study by robotic isolation of DNA from EDTA whole blood (MagNa Pure LC) before PCR amplification (LightCycler) and melting point analysis.
The 420 C>T substitution of CYP2C9*2, the 1075 A>C substitution of CYP2C9*3 and the 1173 C>T substitution of VKORC1 had minor allele frequencies of, 11.3%, 5.7% and 36.6% respectively. Warfarin weekly dose varied between 17 mg and 74 mg among the patients. INR did not vary between genotypes. Warfarin dosage requirement was significantly associated with CYP2C9 and VKORC1 genotypes, treatment group and age. The VKORC1 genotype contributed 24.5% to the interindividual variation in warfarin dosage, whereas the combined CYP2C9 genotypes were only responsible for 7.2% of the dose variation.
CYP2C9 and VKORC1 genotype frequencies in myocardial infarction patients appear similar to other patient groups and have similar impact on warfarin maintenance dose.
PMCID: PMC2440373  PMID: 18559094
25.  Effect of diet and omega-3 fatty acid intervention on asymmetric dimethylarginine 
Background and aim
Impaired vasodilatation has been suggested to be caused by inhibition of nitric oxide generation by the recently described asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA). In the present study we wanted to explore whether n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) supplementation and/or diet intervention have beneficial influence on endothelial function assessed as plasma levels of ADMA and L-arginine.
A male population (n = 563, age 70 ± 6 yrs) with long-standing hyperlipidemia, characterized as high risk individuals in 1970–72, was included, randomly allocated to receive placebo n-3 PUFA capsules (corn oil) and no dietary advice (control group), dietary advice (Mediterranean type), n-3 PUFA capsules, or dietary advice and n-3 PUFA combined and followed for 3 years. Fasting blood samples were drawn at baseline and the end of the study.
Compliance with both intervention regimens were demonstrated by changes in serum fatty acids and by recordings from a food frequency questionnaire. No influence of either regimens on ADMA levels were obtained. However, n-3 PUFA supplementation was accompanied by a significant increase in L-arginine levels, different from the decrease observed in the placebo group (p < 0.05). In individuals with low body mass index (<26 kg/m2), the decrease in L-arginine on placebo was strengthened (p = 0.01), and the L-arginine/ADMA ratio was also significantly reduced (p = 0.04).
In this rather large randomized intervention study, ADMA levels were not influenced by n-3 PUFA supplementation or dietary counselling. n-3 PUFA did, however, counteract the age-related reduction in L-arginine seen on placebo, especially in lean individuals, which might be discussed as an improvement of endothelial function.
PMCID: PMC1343562  PMID: 16396682

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