Abstract 5544: Lymphotoxin β Receptor is Associated with Atherosclerosis in the Dallas Heart Study
Introduction: Lymphotoxin β receptor (LTBR), a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor family, is expressed by activated lymphocytes. Blocking LTBR improves autoimmune diseases and alters lipid homeostasis. We assayed circulating LTBR and examined its association with atherosclerosis in multiple vascular beds.
Methods: Plasma LTBR was measured in 3215 subjects aged 30–65 enrolled in the Dallas Heart Study using an experimental ELISA assay (Biosite, Inc). Atherosclerosis was assessed using CT measurements of coronary calcium (CAC) (n=2462) and abdominal MRI measurements of aortic plaque (AP) (n=2252) and aortic wall thickness (AWT) (n=2265). We analyzed LTBR and atherosclerosis with uni- and multivariable logistic and linear regression methods.
Results: The study cohort had median age 43; 44% women; and 70% non-white subjects. Higher levels of LTBR were associated with traditional cardiovascular risk factors and other inflammatory markers. Univariable analysis demonstrated modest associations with CAC (Spearman rho = 0.11, p<0.0001) and AWT (rho=0.16, p<0.0001). In multivariable models adjusted for traditional risk factors, the 4th vs. the 1st quartile of LTBR was associated with CAC > 10 (adjusted OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.01–1.95; Figure⇓); AP (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.1–1.8; p=0.02); and increased AWT (β = 0.06, p<0.0001). Similar associations were observed when log transformed LTBR was used as a continuous variable.
Conclusion: LTBR levels are independently associated with atherosclerosis in multiple vascular beds. These findings suggest a potential role of activated lymphocytes in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and warrant further investigation.