Influence of eNOS gene polymorphisms on carotid atherosclerosis

C. Fatini, F. Sofi, F. Gensini, E. Sticcini, B. Lari, G. Pratesi, R. Pulli, W. Dorigo, C. Pratesi, G. F. Gensini, R. Abbare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction. Nitric oxide (NO) is an endothelium-derived relaxing factor which plays a role in atherogenetic events. Polymorphisms in the endothelial NO synthase gene (eNOS) influences the functional activity of the enzyme and affect the susceptibility to atherogenesis. In this study we determined whether T-786C, G894T and 4a/4b eNOS genetic variants may increase the susceptibility to carotid atherosclerosis. Methods. The study groups included 304 consecutive patients with severe carotid stenosis (≥70%) and 544 control subjects. The eNOS polymorphisms were analysed by molecular biology techniques. Results. The genotype distribution and allele frequency of eNOS 4a/4b, but not T-786C and G894T, polymorphism was significantly different between patients and controls. Using logistic regression with adjustment for other risk factors, the 4a allele and the combined genotype 4a4a + 4a4b/894TT + GT and -786CC + TC/894TT + GT were associated with carotid stenosis (OR = 1.5, p = 0.02; OR = 1.8, p = 0.01; OR = 1.5, p = 0.04, respectively). In a subset of patients (30 of 304) with no traditional risk factors for atherosclerosis, a relatively high incidence of the 4a allele and 4a4a + 4a4b/-786CC + TC combined genotype was noted. Discussion. Our findings suggest that the 4a allele and the eNOS combined genotypes are independent predisposing factors to carotid atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-544
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2004


  • Carotid atherosclerosis
  • eNOS gene polymorphisms
  • Vascular surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Surgery


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