Carotid Endothelial VCAM-1 Is an Early Marker of Carotid Atherosclerosis and Predicts Coronary Artery Disease in Swine


Objective: The aim was to determine if endothelial VCAM-1 (eVCAM-1) expression in the common carotid artery (CCA) would correlate with predictive markers of atherosclerotic disease, would precede reduction of markers of endothelial cell function and would predict coronary artery disease (CAD). Methods and results: Carotid arterial segments (bifurcation, proximal and distal CCA) were harvested from 14 and 24 month-old male castrated familial hypercholesterolemic (FH) swine, a model of spontaneous atherosclerosis. Quantification of local expression of eVCAM-1, intimal macrophage accumulation, oxidative stress, intima-media (I/M) ratio, intima-media thickness (IMT), endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and phosphorylated eNOS (p-eNOS) in selected regions of the carotids revealed a relationship between local inflammation and atherosclerotic plaque progression. Importantly, inflammation was not uniform throughout the CCA. Endothelial VCAM-1 expression was the greatest at the bifurcation and increased with age. Finally, eVCAM-1 best estimated the severity of CAD compared to blood levels of glucose, hypercholesterolemia, carotid IMT, and p-eNOS. Conclusion: Our data suggested that eVCAM-1 was closely associated with atherosclerotic plaque progression and preceded impairment of EDD. Thus, this study supported the use of carotid VCAM-1 targeting agents to estimate the severity of CAD.

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Masseau, I. and Bowles, D. (2015) Carotid Endothelial VCAM-1 Is an Early Marker of Carotid Atherosclerosis and Predicts Coronary Artery Disease in Swine. Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering, 8, 767-779. doi: 10.4236/jbise.2015.811073.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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