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Serum heart-type fatty acid-binding protein decreases and soluble isoform of suppression of tumorigenicity 2 increases significantly by long-term physical activity
  1. Michael Sponder1,
  2. Michael Lichtenauer2,
  3. Bernhard Wernly2,
  4. Vera Paar2,
  5. Uta Hoppe2,
  6. Michael Emich3,
  7. Monika Fritzer-Szekeres4,
  8. Brigitte Litschauer5,
  9. Jeanette Strametz-Juranek6
  1. 1 Department of Cardiology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  2. 2 Department of Cardiology, Clinic of Internal Medicine II, Paracelsus Medical University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
  3. 3 Austrian Federal Ministry of Defence and Sports, Austrian Armed Forces, Vienna, Austria
  4. 4 Department of Medical-Chemical Laboratory Analysis, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  5. 5 Department of Pharmacology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  6. 6 SKA-RZ Bad Tatzmannsdorf, Bad Tatzmannsdorf, Austria
  1. Correspondence to Priv.Doz.Dr. Michael Sponder, Department of Cardiology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna 1090, Austria; michael.sponder{at}


The aim of this prospective study was to investigate the influence of long-term physical activity on biomarkers for myocyte ischemia (heart-type fatty acid-binding protein, H-FABP), matrix remodelling/vascular stress (soluble isoform of suppression of tumorigenicity 2, sST2) and inflammation (soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor, suPAR). In this prospective observational study 109 subjects were recruited, 98 completed the study. Subjects were asked to perform exercise within the calculated training pulse for 8 months. The performance gain was measured/quantified by bicycle stress tests at the beginning and end of the observation period. Twenty-seven subjects with a performance gain <2.9% were excluded. suPAR, H-FABP and sST2 were measured in serum at baseline and after 2, 4 and 8 months by ELISA. We found a significant decrease in H-FABP (1.86 (0.86) to 1.29 (0.98) ng/mL; p<0.01) and a significant increase in sST2 levels (6126 (2759) to 6919 (3720) pg/mL; p=0.045) during the observation period of 8 months while there was no remarkable change in suPAR levels. We interpret the activity-induced decrease in H-FABP as sign of lower subclinical myocardial ischemia and better perfusion, probably due to a more economic metabolization and electrolyte balance. The increase in sST2 might reflect physiological sports-induced vascular stress. As H-FABP and sST2 play an important role in the pathomechanism of ischemic cardiomyopathy (iCMP) further studies should investigate the influence of regular physical activity on these biomarkers in a population of patients with iCMP.

Trial registration number NCT02097199.

  • inflammation
  • vascular calcification
  • sports

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  • Contributors MS: study design, clinical investigation, performing bicycle stress tests/follow-up, statistical analysis, manuscript preparation. ML and VP: laboratory analysis, manuscript preparation. BW: statistical analysis, laboratory analysis. UH: infrastructure support, manuscript preparation. ME: study design. MFS: laboratory analysis. BL: statistical analysis. JSJ: study design, manuscript preparation.

  • Funding The study has been funded by means of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Defence and Sports, Vienna, Austria

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Ethics Committee of the Medical University of Vienna (EC No: 1830/2013).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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