Galectin-3 in heart failure: From biomarker to target for therapy

Allart Rogier van der Velde

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

    2140 Downloads (Pure)


    This thesis describes the role of galectin-3 in heart failure. Galectin-3 is a protein that is secreted in our body during inflammation and tissue damage. It becomes released into the blood stream and can be measured with a blood test. As a biomarker, galectin-3 can be used for risk stratification in patients with heart failure. In our studies, we show that repeated measurements provide incremental prognostic information. Furthermore, galectin-3 is a marker of subclinical disease: it can be used to identify subjects in the general population that will develop heart failure in the future. Galectin-3 is also involved in cardiac fibrosis and is released after myocardial infarction. Baseline galectin-3 measurements in patients with a myocardial infarction predict infarct size and cardiac function.
    Another goal of this thesis was to further unravel galectin-3 biology. We show that galectin-3 levels increase upon severe hypertension or micro-albuminuria. In addition, renal function is an important determinant of the present galectin-3 level. Furthermore, blood group also determines galectin-3 level. Possibly, the biological activity of galectin-3 is regulated by glycosylation, the addition of sugar groups.
    However, the most important feature of galectin-3 is to serve as a target for therapy. Pectins, which are complex sugars extracted from natural food sources, are able to inhibit galectin-3-mediated effects. Administration of pectins in an animal model attenuates cardiac fibrosis and preserves cardiac function. The concept of galectin-3 inhibition could be an interesting addition to the current heart failure treatment regimen.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Boer ,de, Rudolf, Supervisor
    • van Gilst, Wiek, Supervisor
    • Sillje, Herman, Co-supervisor
    Award date11-Jan-2017
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-94-6169-998-5
    Electronic ISBNs978-90-77595-41-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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