Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Circulating levels of a lung protein found to be 'strongly predictive' of cardiovascular disease

Study suggests the biomarker potential of surfactant protein-D

A blood protein known as surfactant protein-D (SP-D), which is mainly synthesised in the lungs, has been described as "a good predictor" of cardiovascular disease following a large study in North America.

Reporting the study online today in the European Heart Journal, the investigators said that circulating SP-D levels were clearly associated with CVD and total mortality in patients with angiographically diagnosed coronary artery disease independent of other well established risk factors (such as age, smoking, cholesterol and C-reactive protein levels).(1)

In the lungs SP-D has a role in the body's defensive response tot the many microorganisms and antigens inhaled each day, by binding to their surface and promting their clearance from the body. Blood levels of SP-D increase when the lungs are inflamed and not working well - for example, when someone catches a cold, flu or other respiratory tract infection. Blood levels also increase in those who smoke or develop a chronic lung condition such as asthma, emphysema or obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

In healthy people with normal lung function blood levels of SP-D are low, but when lung function is impaired (as with infections, smoking or COPD), SP-D leaks from the lungs into the blood and then into the circulation, increasing the risk of atherosclerosis.

This study aimed to determine whether or not circulating SP-D is related to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in two independent cohorts: first, a large cohort of patients having coronary angiography for suspected coronary artery disease (CAD); and second, a "replication" cohort of ex- and current smokers with mild airflow restriction but without a known history of CVD.

"We've known for a long time that chronic lung inflammation is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular and total mortality," said investigator Dr Don Sin from the Providence Heart and Lung Institute at St Paul's Hospital, and University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. "However, apart from lung function tests, there are no universally accepted biomarkers that could clearly predict these events. Recent studies have identified SP-D as a promising biomarker of lung inflammation and injury - for example, circulating SP-D levels are nearly 40% higher in active smokers than in lifetime non-smokers, and rise further in subjects with impaired lung function. It was our hypothesis that in the systemic circulation SP-D may promote atherosclerosis."

Plasma SP-D levels were measured in 806 patients having coronary angiography. These patients were derived from the Vancouver Coronary Angiography Cohort referred for angiography between 1992 and 1995. Coronary artery disease (CAD) was defined as any lesion causing at least 20% stenosis (and severe CAD at least 50%). Follow-up continued until 2007, with primary outcome defined as CVD mortality. The replication cohort was derived from the Lung Health Study and included subjects with mild or moderate COPD.

The angiography patients who died during follow-up (30% of the cohort) had significantly higher plasma SP-D levels than those who survived (median 85.4 vs. 64.8 ng/mL; P

Eight per cent of the patients in this group had CAD (verified by angiography), 71% had severe CAD, and 29% had angiographic evidence of triple vessel disease. CVD accounted for 45% of the total deaths in this group.

In the group of current and ex-smokers serum SP-D levels were higher in those who died or were hospitalised for CVD than in those who did not (median 99.8 vs. 90.6 ng/mL; P = 0.0001).

Dr Sin described the association between circulating SP-D levels and CVD as "strong" but emphasised that the study was designed to determine causality. "Based on our data," he said, "we cannot determine whether SP-D was intrinsically involved in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular events or an epiphenomenon of lung inflammation."

However, he agreed that circulating SP-D levels were a strong predictor of future CVD mortality, independent of other risk factors. "Our data certainly implicate lung inflammation in the pathogenesis of heart and blood vessel disease and raise the possibility of using this protein as a biomarker for risk stratification in CVD patients above and beyond the traditional biomarkers of serum cholesterol and C-reactive protein. SP-D may provide a simple blood test to determine who has lung disease and is also at high risk of heart and blood vessel disease. Such patients could be targeted for interventions such as smoking cessation and drug therapy to lower their heart disease risk."

Jacqueline Partarrieu | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>