Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF) is characterized by myocardial interstitial fibrosis. A total of 146 patients with HFPEF, were recruited. HFPEF severity was determined using Doppler imaging (E/Em) and also cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI). Canine modeling of HFPEF was induced by aortic banding. Hemodynamic and echocardiographic data were obtained before and after pressure loading and myocardial Galectin-3 was determined. Mechanical stretch of cultured cardiomyocytes served as the cellular model of HFPEF. Patients with severe HFPEF had significantly higher plasma Galectin-3 levels. Significant correlation between plasma Galectin-3 and E/Em in advanced HFPEF patients was noted. After 2 weeks of pressure overload in canine models, the protein expression of Galectin-3 from LV myocardial tissue was significantly increased (p < 0.01) compared with controls. Galectin-3 expression paralleled the severity of LV diastolic dysfunction by evaluation of CMRI (r =-0.58, p = 0.003) and tissue fibrosis (r = 0.59, p = 0.002). After adjusting for confounders for diastolic dysfunction, Galectin-3 levels were still associated with diastolic parameters both in humans (p < 0.001) and canine model (p = 0.041). Mechanical stretch increased Galectin-3 secretion in cultured cardiomyocytes. Both plasma and myocardial Galectin-3 levels correlated with severity of cardiac diastolic dysfunction.
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