Author(s): Chaldakov GN, Stankulov IS, Fiore M, Ghenev PI, Aloe L
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Abstract Nerve growth factor (NGF), in addition to its neurotrophic function, acts on a variety of non-neuronal cells including immune cells and vascular smooth muscle cells. The aim of the present study was to determine the NGF levels and the distribution of NGF and low-affinity NGF receptor (p75NGFR) and mast cells (MC) in human atherosclerotic coronary arteries. Specimens of human coronary arteries obtained from autopsy cases (n=12, subjects with atherosclerotic lesions; n=9, subjects without atherosclerotic lesions/controls) were used. The present study showed that in the atherosclerosis-lesioned arteries, the amount of NGF decreased, whereas the expression of p75NGFR immunoreactivity and the number, both of MC and vasa vasorum, particularly in the adventitia, significantly increased, compared with the control arteries. Cumulatively, our findings help to set the neurotrophic theory and its currently extended neuroimmune framework into the context of pathobiology of atherosclerosis, suggesting that altered presence of NGF, p75NGFR, and MC may play a role in neuroimmune mechanisms of human coronary atherosclerosis.
This article was published in Atherosclerosis
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology