ISSN : 2146-3123
E-ISSN : 2146-3131

Increased Expression of Interleukin-18 mRNA is Associated with Carotid Artery Stenosis
Berk Arapi1, Burcu Bayoğlu2, Müjgan Cengiz2, Ahmet Dirican3, Serkan Burç Deser4, Yerik Junusbekov1, Caner Arslan1
1Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, İstanbul University Cerrahpaşa School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey
2Department of Medical Biology, İstanbul University Cerrahpaşa School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey
3Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, İstanbul University İstanbul School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey
4Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Ondokuz Mayıs University School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey
DOI : 10.4274/balkanmedj.2017.0323

Abstract

Background: Carotid artery stenosis is the atherosclerotic narrowing of the proximal internal carotid artery and one of the primary causes of stroke. Elevated expression of the pleiotropic proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-18 has been demonstrated in human atherosclerotic plaques.
Aims: To investigate whether the mRNA expression levels of interleukin-18 and interleukin-18-binding protein and interleukin-18 −137 G/C (rs187238) variants are associated with carotid artery stenosis development.
Study Design: Case-control study.
Methods: The mRNA expression levels of interleukin-18 and interleukin-18-binding protein and interleukin-18 rs187238 variants were evaluated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and real-time polymerase chain reaction, respectively, in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of 70 patients with carotid artery stenosis (36 symptomatic, 34 asymptomatic) and 75 healthy controls.
Results: Interleukin-18 mRNA expression was significantly increased in carotid artery stenosis patients compared to that in healthy controls (p=0.01). However, no significant difference was observed between interleukin-18-binding protein mRNA expression levels in patients with carotid artery stenosis and those in controls (p=0.101). Internal carotid artery stenosis severity was significantly higher in symptomatic patients than that in asymptomatic patients (p<0.001). A significant relationship was identified between interleukin-18 expression and internal carotid artery stenosis severity in patients with carotid artery stenosis (p=0.051). Interleukin-18 rs187238 polymorphism genotype frequencies did not significantly differ between patients with carotid artery stenosis and controls (p=0.246). A significant difference was identified between interleukin-18-binding protein gene expression and symptomatic and asymptomatic patients (p=0.026), but there was no difference in interleukin-18 expression between the symptomatic and asymptomatic subgroups (p=0.397).
Conclusion: Interleukin-18 mRNA expression may affect carotid artery stenosis etiopathogenesis and internal carotid artery stenosis severity and also may play a mechanistic role in the pathogenesis of carotid artery stenosis, influencing the appearance of symptoms.

Keywords : Carotid artery, gene expression, interleukin-18, interleukin-18-binding protein, stenosis
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