Author(s): Neri Serneri GG, Boddi M, Modesti PA, Cecioni I, Coppo M,
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Abstract This study investigated whether the myocardium is involved in the acute inflammatory reaction associated with bursts of unstable angina (UA). We looked for the presence of activated DR+ inflammatory cells and the expression patterns, localization, and immunostaining identification of genes for cytokines (IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, IL-6, and IFN-gamma), MCP-1, and iNOS in the left ventricle biopsies from 2-vessel disease anginal patients, 24 with UA and 12 with stable angina (SA), who underwent coronary bypass surgery. Biopsy specimens from 6 patients with mitral stenosis who underwent valve replacement were examined as control hearts (CHs). Plasma levels of IL-2 soluble receptor (sIL-2R) were measured as a marker of systemic immune reaction. In CHs, DR+ cells were undetectable, and cytokine and iNOS mRNA expression were negligible. UA patients had higher sIL-2R levels than SA patients (P<0.01), and their biopsy specimens showed both numerous DR+ cells identified as lymphocytes, macrophages, endothelial cells, and elevated expression levels of cytokine and iNOS genes (from 2.4- to 6.1-fold vs SA; P<0.01). Cytokine and iNOS genes and proteins were localized in endothelial cells without involvement of myocytes. IL-1beta and MCP-1 mRNAs were nearly undetectable. No significant differences were found in the number of DR+ cells, levels of cytokine, and iNOS genes between potentially ischemic and nonischemic left ventricle areas. In SA specimens, DR+ cells were very rare and only mRNAs for TNF-alpha and iNOS genes were overexpressed versus CHs. These results indicated that an acute immunomediated inflammatory reaction, essentially involving coronary microvessels, is demonstrable in UA patients.
This article was published in Circ Res
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology