From kidney to cardiovascular diseases: NGAL as a biomarker beyond the confines of nephrology


Prof. Michele Buemi, Via Salita Villa Contino, 30, 98100 Messina, Italy. Tel.: +39090-2212265; fax: +39090-2935162; e-mail:


Eur J Clin Invest 2010; 40 (3): 273–276


Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), a small 25 kDa stress-protein released from injured tubular cells after various damaging stimuli, is already known by nephrologists as one of the most promising biomarkers of incoming Acute Kidney Injury. Moreover, recent studies seem to suggest a potential involvement of this factor also in the genesis and progression of chronic kidney diseases. This brief review explores the new interesting involvement of NGAL in the experimental and clinical field of cardiovascular diseases, such as the pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of atherosclerosis, acute myocardial infarction and heart failure. It does not seem difficult that, in the next future, NGAL may become a new missing link between the kidney and the cardiovascular system.