Abstract MP46: Growth Factors Are Associated With Imaging Markers of Brain Aging in Young Adults
Metabolic and vascular dysregulation are related to stroke, cognitive decline and dementia. Growth factor biomarkers of these processes, such as Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF1) and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) have been associated with risk of neurodegeneration and stroke in middle-aged and older Framingham participants. Additionally, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and angiopoietin 2 are novel biomarkers of interest as they have been related to cardiovascular events.
As abnormal brain changes probably start years before clinical symptoms, we hypothesize that circulating growth factors are related to MRI endophenotypes of brain aging.
We included 1,877 individuals aged 46±8 years from the Framingham Study. Blood samples were collected during 2008-2011, and used to measure IGF1, VEGF, HGF, angiopoietin 2 and its receptor tyrosine kinase (TIE2). Participants underwent brain MRI examination (2009-2013) from which brain volumes and white matter hyperintensities were estimated. We related growth factor levels to brain MRI markers adjusting for age, sex, time between blood draw and MRI, and cardiovascular risk factors.
Lower IGF1, as well as higher HGF and angiopoietin 2 levels were associated with higher ventricular volumes indicative of brain shrinkage. Higher TIE2 levels were associated with lower total brain and gray matter volumes, while higher angiopoietin 2 levels were associated with lower white matter volumes. Lower IGF1 levels were also associated with reduced hippocampal volumes. Finally, higher TIE2 levels were associated with larger white matter hyperintensities.
Our results suggest that growth factors are associated with neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular markers of brain aging in healthy young adults. Whereas IGF1 seems protective, higher levels of HGF, angiopoietin 2 and TIE2 were associated with greater subclinical brain injury. These associations expand our understanding of the earliest stages of brain aging. We will extend our findings by analyzing cognitive outcomes.
Author Disclosures: C.L. Satizabal: None. A. Beiser: None. J.J. Himali: None. R. Au: None. P.A. Wolf: None. C. DeCarli: None. R. Vasan: None. S. Seshadri: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.