Abstract 5018: Soluble fms-like Tyrosine Kinase (sFLT1): A Biomarker of Endothelial Origin in Acute ST-segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI)
In STEMI, early recognition improves clinical outcomes. Current biomarkers of myocardial necrosis are limited by poor sensitivity and specificity during the acute phase of coronary occlusion. sFLT1 is an endothelial-derived, hypoxia-inducible protein. We hypothesized that vascular occlusion induces early expression of sFLT1 in STEMI.
Methods & Results: In a prospective, observational study, serum sFLT1 levels were measured by ELISA in 30 patients with STEMI referred for emergent catheterization. Compared to 20 healthy, age-matched controls, sFLT1 levels were markedly increased at the time of presentation (11.7±2 vs 210.5±80 pg/mL, p<0.0001), then substantially reduced within 24 hours of reperfusion (22.3±15 pg/mL, p<0.0001). On admission, 100% of STEMI patients had elevated sFLT-1 levels (>50pg/mL), whereas 73% and 64% had levels of CK-MB >5ng/mL and Troponin-I >1.0 ng/mL respectively. Two patients undergoing alcohol septal ablation were studied as positive controls. sFLT1 levels increased within 40 minutes of occlusion (27.8 vs 216.2 pg/mL, pre- vs post-ablation, p<0.03). We also studied sFLT1 expression in a mouse model of myocardial infarction (MI). After 1 hour of left coronary ligation in 10-week old male wild-type mice (n=6/group), left ventricular sFLT1 mRNA levels were increased (p<0.01 MI vs. sham), while aortic and lung mRNA expression were unchanged. Serum sFLT1 levels were also elevated in MI (170±71 vs 541±107pg/mL, sham vs. MI, p<0.002). To explore the cellular origin of sFLT1, human coronary endothelial (HCE) and smooth muscle cells (HSMC) were rendered hypoxic. Within 1 hour, sFLT1 mRNA expression in HCE increased by 173±35% (p=0.03). By 12 hours, sFLT1 mRNA and protein expression in hypoxic HCE increased by 313±15% (p<0.01) and 256±17% (p<0.001) respectively. To simulate the effects of reperfusion on sFLT1 expression, HCE were exposed to 12 hours of hypoxia, then 6 hours of normoxia. After normoxic rescue, sFLT1 protein expression decreased by 36% (p<0.01, vs hypoxic HCE). Hypoxia failed to induce sFLT1 mRNA or protein expression in HSMC.
Conclusion: sFLT1 is a highly sensitive biomarker of vascular occlusion released by the endothelium during the acute phase of STEMI and may be an important new marker for acute ischemic syndromes.
This research has received full or partial funding support from the American Heart Association, Founders Affiliate (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont).