Stress-induced growth-differentiation factor 15 plays an intriguing role in cardiovascular diseases

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To provide an overview of the current knowledge of growth-differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) in heart disease.

Data sources

To identify relevant publications, we searched PubMED database combining the textual terms of heart, cardiac, cardiovascular disease with GDF-15.

Study selection

Well-controlled, relatively large-scale, retrospective studies as well as meaningful individual cases were all selected as materials.


GDF-15 is a distant member of the transforming growth factor-β cytokine superfamily. In myocardium, GDF-15 is weakly expressed under physiological conditions. However, its expression level is increased in response to pathological stress. Growing evidence indicate that elevated levels of GDF-15 is a promising prognostic biomarker in cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, GDF-15 exhibits the properties of endogenous anti-hypertrophy of cardiomyocytes and protecting the heart suffering from ischemia and reperfusion insult.


Ve GDF-15 may be a promising biomarker for evaluation and management of patient with cardiovascular diseases, and have potential protective properties on myocardium.

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