Journal of Molecular Medicine

, Volume 84, Issue 6, pp 469–477 | Cite as

Fibrin(ogen) and its fragments in the pathophysiology and treatment of myocardial infarction

  • Kai Zacharowski
  • Paula Zacharowski
  • Sonja Reingruber
  • Peter Petzelbauer


The occlusion of a coronary artery leads to ischemia of the myocardium, while permanent occlusion results in cell death and myocardial dysfunction. Early restoration of blood flow is the only means to reduce or prevent myocardial necrosis, but—paradoxically—reperfusion itself contributes to injury of the heart. In animal models, this phenomenon is well described, and there are many different unrelated approaches to reduce reperfusion injury. In humans, however, pharmacological interventions have so far failed to reduce myocardial reperfusion injury. We summarize the pathogenesis of reperfusion injury, detailing the role of fibrin(ogen) and its derivatives. Moreover, we introduce a new concept for fibrin derivatives as potential targets for reperfusion therapy.


15–42 Fibrin fragments Endothelial cell VE-cadherin Leukocyte transmigration Myocardial infarction and reperfusion injury 



This work was supported by research grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Za243/8-1 & Za243/9-1 to K.Z.), Forschungskommission Düsseldorf, and the Austrian Science Foundation (P15099 to P. Petzelbauer).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kai Zacharowski
    • 1
  • Paula Zacharowski
    • 1
  • Sonja Reingruber
    • 2
  • Peter Petzelbauer
    • 3
  1. 1.Molecular Cardioprotection and Inflammation Group, Department of AnesthesiaUniversity Hospital of DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany
  2. 2.Fibrex Medical Research and DevelopmentWienAustria
  3. 3.Department of General DermatologyMedical UniversityWienAustria

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