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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(4), 433;

Monocyte Subsets and Related Chemokines in Carotid Artery Stenosis and Ischemic Stroke

Department of Neurology, Hannover Medical School, 30625 Hannover, Germany
Department of Neuropathology, University Medical Center Göttingen, 37099 Göttingen, Germany
Department of Vascular Surgery, Klinikum Peine, 31226 Peine, Germany
Department of Clinical Chemistry, Hannover Medical School, 30625 Hannover, Germany
Department of Nephrology and Hypertension, Hannover Medical School, 30625 Hannover, Germany
Center for Systems Neuroscience (ZSN), 30559 Hannover, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michael Henein
Received: 30 January 2016 / Revised: 8 March 2016 / Accepted: 17 March 2016 / Published: 23 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Carotid stenosis (CS) is an important cause of ischemic stroke. However, reliable markers for the purpose of identification of high-risk, so-called vulnerable carotid plaques, are still lacking. Monocyte subsets are crucial players in atherosclerosis and might also contribute to plaque rupture. In this study we, therefore, aimed to investigate the potential role of monocyte subsets and associated chemokines as clinical biomarkers for vulnerability of CS. Patients with symptomatic and asymptomatic CS (n = 21), patients with cardioembolic ischemic strokes (n = 11), and controls without any cardiovascular disorder (n = 11) were examined. Cardiovascular risk was quantified using the Essen Stroke Risk Score (ESRS). Monocyte subsets in peripheral blood were measured by quantitative flow cytometry. Plaque specimens were histologically analyzed. Furthermore, plasma levels of monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1) and fractalkine were measured. Intermediate monocytes (Mon2) were significantly elevated in symptomatic and asymptomatic CS-patients compared to controls. Mon2 counts positively correlated with the ESRS. Moreover, stroke patients showed an elevation of Mon2 compared to controls, independent of the ESRS. MCP-1 levels were significantly higher in patients with symptomatic than in those with asymptomatic CS. Several histological criteria significantly differed between symptomatic and asymptomatic plaques. However, there was no association of monocyte subsets or chemokines with histological features of plaque vulnerability. Due to the multifactorial influence on monocyte subsets, the usability as clinical markers for plaque vulnerability seems to be limited. However, monocyte subsets may be critically involved in the pathology of CS. View Full-Text
Keywords: atherosclerosis; biomarkers; carotid stenosis; ischemic stroke; plaque analysis atherosclerosis; biomarkers; carotid stenosis; ischemic stroke; plaque analysis

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Grosse, G.M.; Schulz-Schaeffer, W.J.; Teebken, O.E.; Schuppner, R.; Dirks, M.; Worthmann, H.; Lichtinghagen, R.; Maye, G.; Limbourg, F.P.; Weissenborn, K. Monocyte Subsets and Related Chemokines in Carotid Artery Stenosis and Ischemic Stroke. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 433.

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