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Monocyte Subsets and Related Chemokines in Carotid Artery Stenosis and Ischemic Stroke.

Abstract

Carotid stenosis (CS) is an important cause of ischemic stroke. However, reliable markers for the purpose of identification of high-risk, so-called vulnerable carotid plaques, are still lacking. Monocyte subsets are crucial players in atherosclerosis and might also contribute to plaque rupture. In this study we, therefore, aimed to investigate the potential role of monocyte subsets and associated chemokines as clinical biomarkers for vulnerability of CS. Patients with symptomatic and asymptomatic CS (n = 21), patients with cardioembolic ischemic strokes (n = 11), and controls without any cardiovascular disorder (n = 11) were examined. Cardiovascular risk was quantified using the Essen Stroke Risk Score (ESRS). Monocyte subsets in peripheral blood were measured by quantitative flow cytometry. Plaque specimens were histologically analyzed. Furthermore, plasma levels of monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1) and fractalkine were measured. Intermediate monocytes (Mon2) were significantly elevated in symptomatic and asymptomatic CS-patients compared to controls. Mon2 counts positively correlated with the ESRS. Moreover, stroke patients showed an elevation of Mon2 compared to controls, independent of the ESRS. MCP-1 levels were significantly higher in patients with symptomatic than in those with asymptomatic CS. Several histological criteria significantly differed between symptomatic and asymptomatic plaques. However, there was no association of monocyte subsets or chemokines with histological features of plaque vulnerability. Due to the multifactorial influence on monocyte subsets, the usability as clinical markers for plaque vulnerability seems to be limited. However, monocyte subsets may be critically involved in the pathology of CS.

Authors: Grosse GM, Schulz-Schaeffer WJ, Teebken OE, Schuppner R, Dirks M, Worthmann H, Lichtinghagen R, Maye G, Limbourg FP, Weissenborn K.
Journal: Int J Mol Sci. ;17(4)
Year: 2016
PubMed: Find in PubMed