Effects of aging on cardiac extracellular matrix in men and women

Elke Dworatzek, I. Baczkó, Georgios Kararigas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Aging has severe implications for tissue damage and is a major risk factor for disease. However, the effects of aging on cardiac extracellular matrix (ECM) components in individuals free of cardiovascular disease are incompletely understood. We aimed at the characterization of the effects of aging on major ECM proteins in the heart of men and women. Experimental design: Left ventricular (LV) samples of nondiseased human hearts technically unusable for transplantation obtained from general organ donors (n = 31; age 17-68 years; 48% women) were used for protein isolation. We separated the group into 17-40 years (n = 7 men and 7 women) and 50-68 years (n = 9 men and 8 women). Results: Analysis of ECM proteins demonstrated an age-dependent sex-specific regulation of collagen type I and III (interaction p <0.05), type VI (interaction p = 0.01), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 3 (interaction p <0.05), SMAD2 (interaction p <0.05), and SMAD3 (interaction p = 0.001). Overall, the levels of these proteins in younger individuals were lower in women than men, while in older individuals they were higher in women than men. Conclusions and clinical relevance: This age-mediated myocardial ECM remodeling might play a key role in the limited ability of the aging heart to adapt adequately to altered work load and to respond to tissue damage. Therapeutic agents that target ECM homeostasis represent promising prevention strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-91
Number of pages8
JournalProteomics - Clinical Applications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016



  • Aging
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Heart

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry

Cite this