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Atherosclerosis. 2008 Jan;196(1):333-40. Epub 2006 Dec 8.

Placenta growth factor expression in human atherosclerotic carotid plaques is related to plaque destabilization.

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1
Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic Rochester, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Placenta growth factor (PlGF) mediates angiogenesis and inflammation, but its role in human atherosclerosis is unknown. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that PlGF-expression in human atherosclerotic carotid plaques is related to inflammation, vascularization and clinical plaque instability.

METHODS:

The expression of PlGF, C-reactive protein (CRP) and CD40L was analyzed with Western blots in carotid plaques of 60 patients. Cellular infiltration (CD68, CD3) and vascularization (von-Willebrand-factor) was assessed by immunohistochemistry.

RESULTS:

Symptomatic patients showed higher levels of PlGF than asymptomatic patients (115.4+/-8.2 versus 83.6+/-10.5 densitometric units (DU), p<0.05) and higher grading for inflammatory cells and microvessels (CD3: 2.3+/-0.1 versus 0.6+/-0.1, p<0.001, CD68: 2.4+/-0.1 versus 0.8+/-0.1, p<0.001, microvessels: 2.3+/-0.1 versus 1.5+/-0.1, p<0.01). PlGF-expression showed a positive correlation to the expression of CRP (r=0.5, p<0.001) and CD40L (r=0.4, p<0.01).

CONCLUSIONS:

PlGF-expression within human atherosclerotic lesions is associated with plaque inflammation and microvascular density, suggesting a role for PlGF in plaque destabilization and, thus, in clinical manifestation of the disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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