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Heart Lung Circ. 2013 Sep;22(9):746-50. doi: 10.1016/j.hlc.2013.01.012. Epub 2013 Feb 23.

NLRP3 inflammasomes show high expression in aorta of patients with atherosclerosis.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Qianfoshan Hospital, Shandong University, 16766 Jingshi Road, Jinan 250014, PR China.



The aim of the present study was to investigate the expression of NLRP3 in aorta of patients with coronary atherosclerosis and to explore the association between aortic expression levels of NLRP3 and atherosclerotic risk factors.


We collected small pieces of ascending aorta from 36 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, and the arterial tissues from 10 subjects without atherosclerosis through the kidney donation program were taken as control. The expression of NLRP3 of the research and control group was determined by immunohistochemistry. Gensini score was used to evaluate the severity of coronary atherosclerosis.


NLRP3 was strongly expressed in aorta of CABG patients. The aortic NLRP3 expression was elevated in patients with hypertension or diabetes, and smokers. The NLRP3 expression in aorta was positively correlated with total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, and lipoprotein(a) (P<0.05); but negatively correlated with high density lipoprotein cholesterol (P<0.05). Spearman correlation revealed that aortic NLRP3 expression had significant correlation with Gensini coronary severity scores (P<0.05).


NLRP3 was overexpressed in aorta of patients with coronary atherosclerosis and the aortic NLRP3 expression is correlated with the severity of coronary artery disease and the atherosclerotic risk factors.

Copyright © 2013 Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Atherosclerosis; Coronary artery bypass graft; Inflammation; NLRP3; Risk factors

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