Increased expression of neutrophil and monocyte adhesion molecules in unstable coronary artery disease.
BACKGROUND A rapid increase in leukocyte adhesion to endothelial cells is one of the first events in the acute inflammatory response and in the pathogenesis of vascular diseases. A subgroup of cell surface glycoproteins (the CD11/CD18 complex) play a major role in the leukocyte adhesion process; in particular, the CD11b/CD18 receptor can be upregulated severalfold in response to chemotactic factors. The purpose of this study was to assess whether upmodulation of granulocyte and monocyte CD11b/CD18 receptors takes place during the passage of blood through the coronary tree of patients with clinical manifestations of ischemic heart disease.
METHODS AND RESULTS Thirty-nine patients who underwent diagnostic coronary arteriography were studied. Group 1 (15 patients) had a clinical diagnosis of unstable angina, group 2 (14 patients) had stable exertional angina, and group 3 (10 patients) had atypical chest pain. Simultaneous sampling from the coronary sinus and aorta was obtained before coronary arteriography. Cell surface receptors were detected by direct immunofluorescence evaluated by flow cytofluorimetry using monoclonal antibodies tagged with fluorescent markers. Leukocytes were stained in unseparated blood to avoid in vitro manipulation that could activate phagocytes. Group 1 and 2 patients had significant coronary artery disease (> 50% coronary narrowing in at least one major coronary vessel), whereas group 3 patients had normal coronary arteries. In group 1, granulocytes and monocytes showed a significantly higher expression of the CD11b/CD18 adhesion receptor in the coronary sinus than in the aorta (both P < .01), whereas no difference in CD11b/CD18 expression was seen in groups 2 and 3.
CONCLUSIONS Patients with unstable angina have an increased expression of granulocyte and monocyte CD11b/CD18 adhesion receptors, indicating that an inflammatory reaction takes place within their coronary tree. Activation of these leukocytes may induce coronary vasoconstriction, favor thrombotic processes, and further activate platelets, thus having potential implications on the pathogenesis of unstable coronary artery disease.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association