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Myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) is a cardiac condition commonly found in older dogs. The disease process can lead to heart failure (HF). In HF, an increase of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and abnormal mitochondrial activity, as well as apoptosis, have been reported. Humanin (HN) is a polypeptide that has a cardioprotective effect against apoptosis and oxidative stress. The purposes of this study were (1) to investigate the potential role of plasma HN as a cardiac biomarker to predict disease progression of MMVD, and (2) to compare plasma HN concentrations with plasma NT-pro BNP concentrations. Thirty-one dogs were included in the study. The dogs were separated into four groups: Group 1 was healthy dogs (n = 8), Group 2 was MMVD class B (n = 8), Group 3 was MMVD class C (n = 8), and Group 4 was MMVD class D (n = 7). All dogs were given a physical examination, thoracic radiography, echocardiography, and samples of their blood were collected for hematology and blood chemistry analysis. Levels of plasma HN and plasma NT-proBNP were also investigated. The results showed that plasma HN levels were lower in the dogs with MMVD and that lower plasma HN levels were associated with greater severity of MMVD-induced HF. It was possible to observe changes in plasma HN levels at a less severe disease stage than plasma NT-proBNP in dogs with MMVD. These findings sug- gest that a decreased plasma HN level can be used as a biomarker to identify dogs with MMVD -induced HF.
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