Pro-oxidant and pro-inflammatory effects of glycated albumin on cardiomyocytes

Alma Martinez Fernandez, Luca Regazzoni, Maura Brioschi, Erica Gianazza, Piergiuseppe Agostoni, Giancarlo Aldini, Cristina Banfi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human serum albumin (HSA) is the most abundant circulating protein in the body and presents an extensive range of biological functions. As such, it is prone to undergo post-translational modifications (PTMs). The non-enzymatic early glycation of HSA, one of the several PTMs undergone by HSA, arises from the addition of reducing sugars to amine group residues, thus modifying the structure of HSA. These changes may affect HSA functions impairing its biological activity, finally leading to cell damage. The aim of this study was to quantitate glycated-HSA (GA) levels in the plasma of heart failure (HF) patients and to evaluate the biological effects of GA on HL-1 cardiomyocytes. Plasma GA content from HF patients and healthy subjects was measured by direct infusion electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). Results pointed out a significant increase of GA in HF patients with respect to the control group (p < 0.05). Additionally, after stimulation with GA, proteomic analysis of HL-1 secreted proteins showed the modulation of several proteins involved, among other processes, in the response to stress. Further, stimulated cells showed a rapid increase in ROS generation, higher mRNA levels of the inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and higher levels of the oxidative 4-HNE-protein adducts and carbonylated proteins. Our findings show that plasma GA is increased in HF patients. Further, GA exerts pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidant effects on cardiomyocytes, which suggest a causal role in the etiopathogenesis of HF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-255
Number of pages11
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Nov 20 2019


  • Cardiomyocytes
  • Glycated albumin
  • Inflammatory response
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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