Osteopontin: A potential biomarker for heart failure and reverse remodeling after left ventricular assist device support

M.E.I. Schipper, M.R. Scheenstra, J. van Kuik, D.F. van Wichen, P. van der Weide, H.F.J. Dullens, J.R. Lahpor, N. de Jonge, R.A. de Weger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support in end-stage heart failure (HF) leads to recovery of the patient's condition, size reduction of cardiomyocytes, and also volume reduction and change in the composition of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Myocardial expression of ECM osteopontin (OPN) protein increases with the severity of HF. We analyzed whether OPN messenger RNA expression in heart tissue and/or OPN protein in plasma are associated with reverse remodeling during LVAD support.

METHODS: Plasma and heart tissue specimens of 22 end-stage HF patients before and after LVAD implantation and subsequent heart transplantation (HTx) were used to determine the concentrations of OPN protein (EIA) and OPN messenger RNA (mRNA) by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) and in situ hybridization (ISH) were performed to locate OPN protein and mRNA.

RESULTS: The high OPN protein levels in plasma of HE patients did not differ significantly before and after LVAD support in ischemic heart disease (IHD) (pre-LVAD 167 +/- 32 ng/ml; post-LVAD 165 +/- 28 ng/ml) and in dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) (pre-LVAD 99 +/- 12 ng/ml; post-LVAD (142 +/- 6 ng/ml). The OPN plasma levels after HTx decreased to control levels (IHD, 48 +/- 6; DCM, 40 +/- 5; control, 31 +/- 3 ng/ml). In contrast, expression of OPN mRNA in heart biopsy specimens decreased significantly after LVAD support (the relative quantity decreased > 90% in IHD and 50% in DCM). ISH and IHC revealed that OPN was present in cardiomyocytes and in the ECM.

CONCLUSIONS: Levels of OPN mRNA in the myocardium of HF patients showed a significant decrease after LVAD support but OPN protein expression did not. LVAD support only induced a decrease of OPN plasma levels in individual patients, whereas OPN plasma levels reduced significantly in all patients after HTx. J Heart Lung Transplant 2011;30:805-10 (C) 2011 International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)805-810
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • osteopontin
  • heart failure
  • heart-assist device
  • remodeling


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