High levels of fractalkine following myocardial infarction

Exercise did not reduce the levels of the pro-inflammatory protein fractalkine in patients with combinded coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes.

Both patients with type 2 diabetes and patients with coronary artery disease have increased plasma levels of the chemokine fractalkine. However, levels are not further increased in coronary artery disease patients who also suffer from diabetes or the metabolic syndrome, according to the first paper of Ida Unhammer Njerve‘s doctoral thesis. In the next paper, higher levels of fractalkine were observed three hours following PCI treatment for acute myocardial infarction, compared to the same treatment in patients with stable angina pectoris.

Njerve and colleagues also investigated the effect on fractalkine following one year of exercise in patients with combined coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes. The exercise intervention appeared to increase the levels of circulating fractalkine, although no effect was seen on the adipose tissue expression of fractalkine or its receptor CX3CR1. The increased plasma levels were only present in the patients with the most advanced coronary artery disease, but whether it represents a deleterious effect of exercise in these patients is not known.

In a fourth and not yet published study the researchers have shown that the diabetic drug saxagliptin may increase levels of the anti-inflammatory protein interleukin-10. The levels of pro-inflammatory proteins after three months were not different from patients receiving placebo.


Thesis: Fractalkine (CX3CL1) and its reseptor (Cx3CR1) in acute myocardial infraction, stable coronary artery disease and diabetes. Emphasis on adipose tissue inflammation
 Ida Unhammer Njerve
Time and place: March 30, 2017, Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål


Njerve, I. U., Pettersen, A. Å., Opstad, T. B., Arnesen, H., & Seljeflot, I. (2012). Fractalkine and its receptor (CX3CR1) in patients with stable coronary artery disease and diabetes mellitus. Metabolic syndrome and related disorders, 10(6), 400-406.

Njerve, I. U., Solheim, S., Lunde, K., Hoffmann, P., Arnesen, H., & Seljeflot, I. (2014). Fractalkine levels are elevated early after PCI-treated ST-elevation myocardial infarction; no influence of autologous bone marrow derived stem cell injection. Cytokine, 69(1), 131-135.

Njerve, I. U., Byrkjeland, R., Arnesen, H., Åkra, S., Solheim, S., & Seljeflot, I. (2016). Effects of long-term exercise training on adipose tissue expression of fractalkine and MCP-1 in patients with type 2 diabetes and stable coronary artery disease: a substudy of a randomized controlled trial. Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity: targets and therapy, 9, 55.

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