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Open access

Jens P Goetze, Linda M Hilsted, Jens F Rehfeld and Urban Alehagen

Cardiovascular risk assessment remains difficult in elderly patients. We examined whether chromogranin A (CgA) measurement in plasma may be valuable in assessing risk of death in elderly patients with symptoms of heart failure in a primary care setting. A total of 470 patients (mean age 73 years) were followed for 10 years. For CgA plasma measurement, we used a two-step method including a screening test and a confirmative test with plasma pre-treatment with trypsin. Cox multivariable proportional regression and receiver-operating curve (ROC) analyses were used to assess mortality risk. Assessment of cardiovascular mortality during the first 3 years of observation showed that CgA measurement contained useful information with a hazard ratio (HR) of 5.4 (95% CI 1.7–16.4) (CgA confirm). In a multivariate setting, the corresponding HR was 5.9 (95% CI 1.8–19.1). When adding N-terminal proBNP (NT-proBNP) to the model, CgA confirm still possessed prognostic information (HR: 6.1; 95% CI 1.8–20.7). The result for predicting all-cause mortality displayed the same pattern. ROC analyses in comparison to NT-proBNP to identify patients on top of clinical variables at risk of cardiovascular death within 5 years of follow-up showed significant additive value of CgA confirm measurements compared with NT-proBNP and clinical variables. CgA measurement in the plasma of elderly patients with symptoms of heart failure can identify those at increased risk of short- and long-term mortality.

Open access

Julie Smith, Jan Fahrenkrug, Henrik L Jørgensen, Christina Christoffersen and Jens P Goetze

Disruption of the circadian rhythm can lead to obesity and cardiovascular disease. In white adipose tissue, activation of the natriuretic peptide receptors (NPRs) stimulates lipolysis. We have previously shown that natriuretic peptides are expressed in a circadian manner in the heart, but the temporal expression profile of their cognate receptors has not been examined in white adipose tissue. We therefore collected peri-renal white adipose tissue and serum from WT mice. Tissue mRNA contents of NPRs – NPR-A and NPR-C, the clock genes Per1 and Bmal1, and transcripts involved in lipid metabolism were quantified at 4-h intervals: in the diurnal study, mice were exposed to a period of 12 h light followed by 12 h darkness (n=52). In the circadian study, mice were kept in darkness for 24 h (n=47). Concomitant serum concentrations of free fatty acids, glycerol, triglycerides (TGs), and insulin were measured. Per1 and Bmal1 mRNA contents showed reciprocal circadian profiles (P<0.0001). NPR-A mRNA contents followed a temporal pattern (P=0.01), peaking in the dark (active) period. In contrast, NPR-C mRNA was expressed in an antiphase manner with nadir in the active period (P=0.007). TG concentrations in serum peaked in the active dark period (P=0.003). In conclusion, NPR-A and NPR-C gene expression is associated with the expression of clock genes in white adipose tissue. The reciprocal expression may thus contribute to regulate lipolysis and energy homeostasis in a diurnal manner.

Open access

Ulrik Ø Andersen, Dijana Terzic, Nicolai Jacob Wewer Albrechtsen, Peter Dall Mark, Peter Plomgaard, Jens F Rehfeld, Finn Gustafsson and Jens P Goetze


Neprilysin degrades natriuretic peptides in circulation and is also suggested to degrade the gut hormones gastrin and cholecystokinin. Neprilysin inhibition has become a therapeutic strategy and thus a regimen in need of further testing in terms of other hormonal axes besides natriuretic peptides. The aim of this study was to examine whether acute inhibition of neprilysin affects meal-induced responses in gastrin and cholecystokinin concentrations in healthy individuals.

Methods and results

Nine healthy young men were included in an open-labelled, randomized cross-over clinical trial. The participants received a standardized meal (25 g fat, 26 g protein, 42 g carbohydrate) on two separate days with or without a one-time dosage of sacubitril ((194 mg)/valsartan (206 mg)). Blood pressure, heart rate and blood samples were measured and collected during the experiment. Statistical differences between groups were assessed using area under the curve together with an ANOVA with a Bonferroni post hoc test. Sacubitril/valsartan increased the postprandial plasma concentrations of both gastrin and cholecystokinin (80% (AUC0-270 min, P = 0.004) and 60% (AUC0-270 min, P = 0.003), respectively) compared with the control meal. No significant hemodynamic effects were noted (blood pressure, AUC0-270 min, P = 0.86, heart rate, AUC0-270 min, P = 0.96).


Our study demonstrates that sacubitril/valsartan increases the postprandial plasma concentrations of gastrin and cholecystokinin in healthy individuals. The results thus suggest that neprilysin-mediated degradation of gastrin and cholecystokinin is physiologically relevant and may have a role in heart failure patients treated with sacubitril/valsartan.

Open access

Susanna Cirera, Sophia G Moesgaard, Nora E Zois, Nathja Ravn, Jens P Goetze, Signe E Cremer, Tom Teerlink, Páll S Leifsson, Jesper L Honge, J Michael Hasenkam and Lisbeth H Olsen


Non-ischemic mitral regurgitation (MR) is primarily caused by myxomatous mitral valve (MV) disease leading to adaptive remodeling, enlargement, and dysfunction of the left ventricle. The aim of this study was to examine the regulation of plasma markers and several cardiac key genes in a novel porcine model of non-ischemic MR.

Methods and results

Twenty-eight production pigs (Sus scrofa) were randomized to experimental MR or sham surgery controls. MR was induced by external suture(s) through the posterior MV leaflet and quantified using echocardiography. The experimental group was subdivided into mild MR (mMR, MR=20–50%, n=10) and moderate/severe MR (sMR, MR >50%, n=6) and compared with controls (CON, MR ≤10%, n=12). Eight weeks postoperatively, follow-up examinations were performed followed by killing. Circulating concentrations of pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (proANP), l-arginine, asymmetric dimethylarginine, and symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) were measured. MV, anterior papillary muscle, and left ventricular free wall tissues were collected to quantify mRNA expression of eNOS (NOS3), iNOS (NOS2), MMP9, MMP14, ANP (NPPA), BNP (NPPB), and TGFB1, 2, and 3 and five microRNAs by quantitative real-time PCR. Pigs with sMR displayed markedly increased plasma proANP and SDMA concentrations compared with both controls and mMR (P<0.05). The expression of all genes examined differed significantly between the three localizations in the heart. miR-21 and miR-133a were differently expressed among the experimental groups (P<0.05).


Plasma proANP and SDMA levels and tissue expression of miR-21 and miR-133a are associated with severity of chronic MR in an experimental porcine model.