Abstract 3918: Soluble Endothelial Cell-Selective Adhesion Molecule is Associated with Subclinical Atherosclerosis: Observations from the Dallas Heart Study
Several adhesion molecules have been found to play an important role in atherosclerosis development. Endothelial cell-selective adhesion molecule (ESAM) is a recently identified junctional adhesion molecule, expressed only in endothelial tight junctions and on activated platelets, that mediates neutrophil diapedesis across the endothelium. We hypothesized that soluble ESAM (sESAM) is associated with subclinical atherosclerosis in the general population. sESAM was measured in 3222 subjects (median age 44 [IQR 37–52], 50% African-Americans, 56% women) in the Dallas Heart Study, a probability-based population sample of Dallas county residents. Coronary calcium (CAC) was measured by CT (n=2486), abdominal aortic wall thickness (AWT) by MRI (n=2312), and abdominal aortic plaque burden (APB) by MRI (n=2298). Increasing levels of sESAM were associated with all major cardiovascular risk factors as well as with multiple inflammatory markers. Increasing quartiles of sESAM were associated in unadjusted analyses with all 3 atherosclerosis measures (figure⇓ for CAC prevalence). In fully adjusted models sESAM was significantly associated with CAC (OR 1.2 per SD increase, 95%CI 1.1–1.3; p=0.005) and AWT (p=0.04) but not APB (p=0.25). sESAM >= 95th percentile vs. < 95th percentile was significantly associated with CAC (adjusted OR 1.8 95%CI 1.2–2.9, p=0.009) and AWT (p = 0.02) but not with APB (p = 0.052). In this first reported clinical study of sESAM in humans, sESAM levels are independently associated with atherosclerosis. These findings support further exploration of sESAM as a biomarker and mediator of atherosclerosis.