Blood Biomarkers in Takotsubo Syndrome Point to an Emerging Role for Inflammaging in Endothelial Pathophysiology
Takotsubo syndrome (TTS), an acute cardiac condition characterized by transient wall motion abnormalities mostly of the left ventricle, results in difficulties in diagnosing patients. We set out to present a detailed blood analysis of TTS patients analyzing novel markers to understand the development of TTS. Significant differences in proinflammatory cytokine expression patterns and sex steroid and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression levels were observed in the TTS patient collected. Remarkably, the measured catecholamine serum concentrations determined from TTS patient blood could be shown to be two orders of magnitude lower than the levels determined from experimentally induced TTS in laboratory animals. Consequently, the exposure of endothelial cells and cardiomyocytes in vitro to such catecholamine concentrations did not damage the cellular integrity or function of either endothelial cells forming the blood–brain barrier, endothelial cells derived from myocardium, or cardiomyocytes in vitro. Computational analysis was able to link the identified blood markers, specifically, the proinflammatory cytokines and glucocorticoid receptor GR to microRNA (miR) relevant in the ontogeny of TTS (miR-15) and inflammation (miR-21, miR-146a), respectively. Amongst the well-described risk factors of TTS (older age, female sex), inflammaging-related pathways were identified to add to these relevant risk factors or prediagnostic markers of TTS.