Background - Studies have implicated a role for prostaglandin (PG) E 2-dependent matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) biosynthesis in the rupture of atherosclerotic plaque. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and PGE synthase (PGES) are coregulated in nucleated cells by inflammatory stimuli. The aim of this study was to characterize the expression of COX-2 and PGES in carotid plaques and to correlate it with the extent of inflammatory infiltration and MMP activity and with clinical features of patients' presentation. Methods and Results - Plaques were obtained from 50 patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy and divided into 2 groups (symptomatic and asymptomatic) according to clinical evidence of recent transient ischemic attack or stroke. Plaques were analyzed for COX-2, PGES, MMP-2, and MMP-9 by immunocytochemistry and Western blot, whereas zymography was used to detect MMP activity. Immunocytochemistry was used to identify CD68+ macrophages, CD3+ T lymphocytes, and HLA-DR+ cells. The percentage of macrophage-rich areas was larger (P2. Conclusions - This study demonstrates the colocalization of COX-2 and PGES in symptomatic lesions and provides evidence that synthesis of COX-2 and PGES by activated macrophages is associated with acute ischemic syndromes, possibly through metalloproteinase-induced plaque rupture.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 21 2001|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine