Pentraxin 3 (PTX3) is an essential component of the humoral arm of innate immunity and belongs, together with the C-reactive protein (CRP) and other acute phase proteins, to the pentraxins' superfamily: soluble, multifunctional, pattern recognition proteins. Pentraxins share a common C-terminal pentraxin domain, which in the case of PTX3 is coupled to an unrelated long N-terminal domain. PTX3 in humans, like CRP, correlates with surrogate markers of atherosclerosis and is independently associated with the risk of developing vascular events. Studies addressing the potential physiopathological role of CRP in the cardiovascular system were so far inconclusive and have been limited by the fact that the sequence and regulation have not been conserved during evolution between mouse and man. On the contrary, the conservation of sequence, gene organization, and regulation of PTX3 supports the translation of animal model findings in humans. While PTX3 deficiency is associated with increased inflammation, cardiac damage, and atherosclerosis, the overexpression limits carotid restenosis after angioplasty. These observations point to a cardiovascular protective effect of PTX3 potentially associated with the ability of tuning inflammation and favor the hypothesis that the increased levels of PTX3 in subjects with cardiovascular diseases may reflect a protective physiological mechanism, which correlates with the immunoinflammatory response observed in several cardiovascular disorders.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology