OBJECTIVE - Hyperhomocysteinemia, neurohormonal activation, inflammation and altered fibrinolysis have been linked to atherothrombosis as well as to myocardial fibrosis and heart failure. Hence, we related a panel of biomarkers representing these pathways to plasma markers of collagen metabolism in a large community-based sample.
METHODS - We related nine biomarkers representing select biologic pathways (independent variables: C-reactive protein, B-type natriuretic peptide, N-terminal proatrial natriuretic peptide, aldosterone, renin, fibrinogen, D-dimer, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and homocysteine) to three plasma markers of collagen turnover [dependent variables, separate models for each: aminoterminal propeptide of type III collagen, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (present versus absent)] in 921 Framingham Heart study participants (mean age 57 years; 58% women). Participants were separated a priori into those with left ventricular end-diastolic dimensions and wall thickness below sex-specific median values (referent group) and either measure at least 90th sex-specific percentile ('remodeled' group). We used stepwise multivariable regression analysis adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors to relate the panel of systemic biomarkers to the three biomarkers of collagen metabolism.
RESULTS - Plasma homocysteine was positively related to all three markers of collagen metabolism in the remodeled group and to aminoterminal propeptide of type III collagen and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 in the referent group. Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 was positively related to aminoterminal propeptide of type III collagen and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 in both groups, whereas the natriuretic peptides were associated positively with these collagen markers in the referent group.
CONCLUSION - In our large community-based sample, plasma homocysteine and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 were positively related to circulating collagen biomarkers, consistent with experimental studies implicating these pathways in cardiovascular collagen turnover.