, Volume 259, Issue 3, pp 448-456,
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Date: 13 Aug 2011

Increased expression of endothelial lipase in symptomatic and unstable carotid plaques

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate endothelial lipase (EL) protein expression in advanced human carotid artery plaques (HCAP) with regard to plaque (in)stability and the incidence of symptoms. HCAP were collected from 66 patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy (CEA). The degree of plaque (in)stability was estimated by ultrasound and histology. In HCAP sections, EL expression was determined by immunostaining and the intensity was assessed on a semi-quantitative scale (low: <25%, high: >25% positive cells). Monocytes and macrophages in adjacent HCAP sections were stained with a CD163 specific antibody. High EL staining was more prevalent in histologically unstable plaques (in 33.3% of fibrous plaques, 50% of ulcerated non-complicated plaques and 79.2% of ulcerated complicated plaques; χ2 test, p = 0.004) and in the symptomatic group (70.8 vs. 42.9% in the asymptomatic group; χ2 test, p = 0.028). The majority of EL immunostaining was found in those HCAP regions exhibiting a strong CD163 immunostaining. EL in HCAP might be a marker and/or promoter of plaque instability and HCAP-related symptomatology.

M. Trbušić and M. Riederer are equally contributed first authors.
V. Degoricija and S. Frank are equally contributed senior authors.