Natriuretic Peptide Receptor-C is Up-Regulated in the Intima of Advanced Carotid Artery AtherosclerosisMohamed A Zayed1, Scott D Harring2, Dana R Abendschein3, Chandu Vemuri1, Dongsi Lu4, Lisa Detering2, Yongjian Liu2 and Pamela K Woodard2*
- *Corresponding Author:
- Pamela K Woodard
Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology
Washington University School of Medicine
510 S. Kingshighway Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
Tel: (314) 362-7697
Fax: (314) 747-3882
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: May 23, 2016; Accepted Date: June 29, 2016; Published Date: July 05, 2016
Citation: Zayed MA, Harring SD, Abendschein DR, Vemuri C, Lu D, et al. (2016) Natriuretic Peptide Receptor-C is Up-Regulated in the Intima of Advanced Carotid Artery Atherosclerosis . J Med Surg Pathol 1:131. doi: 10.4172/jmsp.1000131
Copyright: © 2016 Zayed MA, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Objective: Natriuretic peptide receptor-C (NPR-C/NPR-3) is a cell surface protein involved in vascular remodelling that is up-regulated in atherosclerosis. NPR-C expression has not been well characterized in human carotid artery occlusive lesions. We hypothesized that NPR-C expression correlates with intimal features of vulnerable atherosclerotic carotid artery plaque. Methods: To test this hypothesis, we evaluated NPR-C expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in carotid endarterectomy (CEA) specimens isolated from 18 patients. The grade, location, and co-localization of NPR-C in CEA specimens were evaluated using two tissue analysis techniques. Results: Relative to minimally diseased CEA specimens, we observed avid NPR-C tissue staining in the intima of maximally diseased CEA specimens (65%; p=0.06). Specifically, maximally diseased CEA specimens demonstrated increased NPR-C expression in the superficial intima (61%, p=0.17), and deep intima (138% increase; p=0.05). In the superficial intima, NPR-C expression significantly co-localized with vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and macrophages. The intensity of NPR-C expression was also higher in the superficial intima plaque shoulder and cap regions, and significantly correlated with atheroma and fibroatheroma vulnerable plaque regions (β=1.04, 95% CI=0.46, 1.64). Conclusion: These findings demonstrate significant NPR-C expression in the intima of advanced carotid artery plaques. Furthermore, NPR-C expression was higher in vulnerable carotid plaque intimal regions, and correlate with features of advanced disease. Our findings suggest that NPR-C may serve as a potential biomarker for carotid plaque vulnerability and progression, in patients with advanced carotid artery occlusive disease.