Plasma CCN2 (connective tissue growth factor; CTGF) is a potential biomarker in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)

Clin Chim Acta. 2011 Nov 20;412(23-24):2211-5. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2011.08.008. Epub 2011 Aug 12.


Background: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic, progressive and fatal pulmonary fibrotic disease and useful biomarkers are required to diagnose and predict disease activity. CCN2 (connective tissue growth factor; CTGF) has been reported as one of the key profibrotic factors associated with transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), and its assay has potential as a non-invasive measure in various fibrotic diseases. Recently, we developed a new subtraction method for determination of plasma CCN2 levels. We examined the utility of plasma CCN2 levels as a surrogate marker in IPF.

Methods: Plasma CCN2 levels were calculated in 33 patients with IPF, 14 patients with non-IPF idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIPs) and 101 healthy volunteers by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using specific monoclonal antibodies for two distinct epitopes of human CCN2. We evaluated the utility of plasma CCN2 levels by comparison with clinical parameters.

Results: Plasma CCN2 levels were significantly higher in patients with IPF than in those with non-IPF IIPs and healthy volunteers. Importantly, plasma CCN2 levels showed significantly negative correlation with 6-month change of forced vital capacity (FVC) in patients with IPF.

Conclusions: Plasma CCN2 is a potential biomarker for IPF.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Connective Tissue Growth Factor / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • CCN2 protein, human
  • Connective Tissue Growth Factor