Intravenous clusterin administration reduces myocardial infarct size in rats

Annemieke Van Dijk, Rob A. Vermond, Paul A J Krijnen, Lynda J M Juffermans, Nynke E. Hahn, Sudesh P Makker, Lucien A. Aarden, Erik Hack, Marieke Spreeuwenberg, Bert C. Van Rossum, Cristof Meischl, Walter J. Paulus, Florine J. Van Milligen, Hans W M Niessen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background Clusterin (Apolipoprotein J), a plasma protein with cytoprotective and complement-inhibiting activities, localizes in the infarcted heart during myocardial infarction (MI). Recently, we have shown a protective effect of exogenous clusterin in vitro on ischaemically challenged cardiomyocytes independent of complement. We therefore hypothesized that intravenous clusterin administration would reduce myocardial infarction damage. Methods Wistar rats undergoing experimental MI, induced by 40 min ligation of a coronary vessel, were treated with either clusterin (n = 15) or vehicle (n = 13) intravenously, for 3 days post-MI. After 4 weeks, hearts were analysed. The putative role of megalin, a clusterin receptor, was also studied. Results Administration of human clusterin significantly reduced both infarct size (with 75 ± 5%) and death of animals (23% vehicle group vs. 0% clusterin group). Importantly, histochemical analysis showed no signs of impaired wound healing in the clusterin group. In addition, significantly increased numbers of macrophages were found in the clusterin group. We also found that the clusterin receptor megalin was present on cardiomyocytes in vitro which, however, was not influenced by ischaemia. Human clusterin co-localized with this receptor in vitro, but not in the human heart. In addition, using a megalin inhibitor, we found that clusterin did not exert its protective effect on cardiomyocytes through megalin. Conclusions Our results thus show that clusterin has a protective effect on cardiomyocytes after acute myocardial infarction in vivo, independent of its receptor megalin. This indicates that clusterin, or a clusterin derivate, is a potential therapeutic agent in the treatment of MI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)893-902
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Clusterin
  • inflammation
  • myocardial infarction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry


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