Glycosylated apolipoprotein J in cardiac ischaemia: molecular processing and circulating levels in patients with acute ischaemic events

Eur Heart J. 2022 Jan 13;43(2):153-163. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehab691.


Aim: Using proteomics, we previously found that serum levels of glycosylated (Glyc) forms of apolipoprotein J (ApoJ), a cytoprotective and anti-oxidant protein, decrease in the early phase of acute myocardial infarction (AMI). We aimed to investigate: (i) ApoJ-Glyc intracellular distribution and secretion during ischaemia; (ii) the early changes in circulating ApoJ-Glyc during AMI; and (iii) associations between ApoJ-Glyc and residual ischaemic risk post-AMI.

Methods and results: Glycosylated apolipoprotein J was investigated in: (i) cells from different organ/tissue origin; (ii) a pig model of AMI; (iii) de novo AMI patients (n = 38) at admission within the first 6 h of chest pain onset and without troponin T elevation at presentation (early AMI); (iv) ST-elevation myocardial infarction patients (n = 212) who were followed up for 6 months; and (v) a control group without any overt cardiovascular disease (n = 144). Inducing simulated ischaemia in isolated cardiac cells resulted in an increased intracellular accumulation of non-glycosylated ApoJ forms. A significant decrease in ApoJ-Glyc circulating levels was seen 15 min after ischaemia onset in pigs. Glycosylated apolipoprotein J levels showed a 45% decrease in early AMI patients compared with non-ischaemic patients (P < 0.0001), discriminating the presence of the ischaemic event (area under the curve: 0.934; P < 0.0001). ST-elevation myocardial infarction patients with lower ApoJ-Glyc levels at admission showed a higher rate of recurrent ischaemic events and mortality after 6-month follow-up (P = 0.008).

Conclusions: These results indicate that ischaemia induces an intracellular accumulation of non-glycosylated ApoJ and a reduction in ApoJ-Glyc secretion. Glycosylated apolipoprotein J circulating levels are reduced very early after ischaemia onset. Its continuous decrease indicates a worsening in the evolution of the cardiac event, likely identifying patients with sustained ischaemia after AMI.

Keywords: Acute myocardial infarction; Acute myocardial ischaemia; Apolipoprotein J; Clusterin; Prognosis; Risk stratification.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clusterin* / blood
  • Clusterin* / chemistry
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / blood
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Ischemia
  • Myocardial Infarction* / blood
  • Swine
  • Troponin T


  • CLU protein, human
  • Clusterin
  • Troponin T