Prognostic value of lymphocyte G protein-coupled receptor kinase-2 protein levels in patients with heart failure

Giuseppe Rengo, Gennaro Pagano, Pasquale Perrone Filardi, G. D. Femminella, Valentina Parisi, Alessandro Cannavo, Daniela Liccardo, Klara Komici, Giuseppina Gambino, Maria Loreta D'Amico, Claudio De Lucia, Stefania Paolillo, Bruno Trimarco, Dino Franco Vitale, Nicola Ferrara, Walter J. Koch, D. Leosco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rationale: Sympathetic nervous system hyperactivity is associated with poor prognosis in patients with heart failure (HF), yet routine assessment of sympathetic nervous system activation is not recommended for clinical practice. Myocardial G protein-coupled receptor kinase-2 (GRK2) is upregulated in HF patients, causing dysfunctional β-adrenergic receptor signaling. Importantly, myocardial GRK2 levels correlate with levels found in peripheral lymphocytes of HF patients. Objective: The independent prognostic value of blood GRK2 measurements in HF patients has never been investigated; thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate whether lymphocyte GRK2 levels predict clinical outcome in HF patients. Methods and Results: We prospectively studied 257 HF patients with mean left ventricular ejection fraction of 31.4±8.5%. At the time of enrollment, plasma norepinephrine, serum NT-proBNP, and lymphocyte GRK2 levels, as well as clinical and instrumental variables were measured. The prognostic value of GRK2 to predict cardiovascular (CV) death and all-cause mortality was assessed using the Cox proportional hazard model including demographic, clinical, instrumental, and laboratory data. Over a mean follow-up period of 37.5±20.2 months (range, 3-60 months), there were 102 CV deaths. Age, left ventricular ejection fraction, New York Heart Association class, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease, N-terminal-pro brain natriuretic peptide, and lymphocyte GRK2 protein levels were independent predictors of CV mortality in HF patients. GRK2 levels showed an additional prognostic and clinical value over demographic and clinical variables. The independent prognostic value of lymphocyte GRK2 levels was also confirmed for all-cause mortality. Conclusions: Lymphocyte GRK2 protein levels can independently predict prognosis in patients with HF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1116-1124
Number of pages9
JournalCirculation Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Beta-adrenergic receptors
  • Brain
  • G-protein-coupled receptor kinase 2
  • Heart failure
  • Natriuretic peptide
  • Prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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