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Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is among the chief causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Despite research efforts, there remains a lack of early markers for preventing and diagnosing acute ischemic events. Thus, there is a pressing need for new biomarkers of the initial stages following an AMI, to help reduce risks for patients.

Scientists at the Catalan Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences (ICCC) recently identified changes in the protein Apolipoprotein J/clusterin (ApoJ) following new onset AMI that could prove highly valuable for early diagnosis. Atherothrombotic ischemic events induce structural modifications that are reflected in serum levels of proteins and other biomarkers. Thus, the ICCC team collected serum samples from AMI patients within a few hours after the event, and then used proteomic analysis to characterize differential serum proteins in the early stages of AMI. They discovered significant differences in the distribution of ApoJ, a protein traditionally thought to have an anti-inflammatory role. Their results reinforce a current hypothesis that in the early phases of AMI the body generates systemic responses that may serve to offset the proinflammatory situation. 

Dr. Teresa Padró and Dr. Judit Cubedo, the main researchers behind the study, which was published last November in Journal of Proteome Research, have confirmed “This research has demonstrated for the first time the presence of a specific serum pattern for ApoJ in patients within the first few hours after an AIM”.

Their results suggest that a change in the isoforms of ApoJ present in the serum could be exploited as a reliable biomarker for detection of the early phase of AMI.

Reference: Proteomic signature of Apolipoprotein J in the early phase of new-onset myocardial infarction. Judit Cubedo, Teresa Padro, Xavier Garcia-Moll, Xavier Pinto, Juan Cinca and Lina Badimon (Journal of Proteome Research, November 2010)

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