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Atherosclerosis. 2013 Sep;230(1):100-105. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2013.05.018. Epub 2013 Jul 14.

Plasma levels of cathepsins L, K, and V and risks of abdominal aortic aneurysms: a randomized population-based study.

Author information

1
Institute of Cardiology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China.
2
Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
3
Vascular Research Unit, Department of Vascular Surgery, Viborg Hospital, Denmark.
4
Elitary Research Centre for Individualized Medicine in Arterial Diseases (CIMA), Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, University Hospital of Odense, Denmark.
#
Contributed equally

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cathepsin L (CatL), cathepsin K (CatK), and cathepsin V (CatV) are potent elastases implicated in human arterial wall remodeling. Whether plasma levels of these cathepsins are altered in patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) remains unknown.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Plasma samples were collected from 476 male AAA patients and 200 age-matched male controls to determine CatL, CatK, and CatV levels by ELISA. Student's t-test demonstrated significantly higher plasma CatL levels in AAA patients than in controls (P < 0.0001), whereas CatK and CatV levels were lower in AAA patients than in controls (P = 0.052, P = 0.025). ROC curve analysis confirmed higher plasma CatL levels in AAA patients than in controls (P < 0.001). As potential confounders, current smoking and use of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, aspirin, clopidogrel, and statins associated with significantly increased plasma CatL. Pearson's correlation test demonstrated that plasma CatL associated positively with CatS (r = 0.43, P < 0.0001), body-mass index (BMI) (r = 0.07, P = 0.047) and maximal aortic diameter (r = 0.29, P < 0.001), and negatively with lowest measured ankle-brachial index (ABI) (r = -0.22, P < 0.001). Plasma CatL remained associated positively with CatS (r = 0.43, P < 0.0001) and aortic diameter (r = 0.212, P < 0.001) and negatively with ABI (r = -0.10, P = 0.011) after adjusting for the aforementioned potential confounders in a partial correlation analysis. Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that plasma CatL was a risk factor of AAA before (odds ratio [OR] = 3.04, P < 0.001) and after (OR = 2.42, P < 0.001) the same confounder adjustment.

CONCLUSIONS:

Correlation of plasma CatL levels with aortic diameter and the lowest ABI suggest that this cysteinyl protease plays a detrimental role in the pathogenesis of human peripheral arterial diseases and AAAs.

KEYWORDS:

AAA; ABI; ACE; AUC; Abdominal aortic aneurysm; Ankle-brachial index; Aortic diameter; BMI; CT; CatK; CatL; CatV; Cathepsin K; Cathepsin L; Cathepsin V; ECM; MMP; OR; PAD; ROC; abdominal aortic aneurysm; angiotensin-converting enzyme; ankle-brachial index; area under the ROC curve; body-mass index; cathepsin K; cathepsin L; cathepsin V; computed tomography; extracellular matrix; metalloproteinase; odds ratio; peripheral arterial disease; receiver-operator characteristic

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