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

Background: Carotid artery stenosis (CAS) is the atherosclerotic narrowing of the proximal internal carotid artery (ICA) and one of the main causes of stroke. Elevated expression of the pleiotropic proinflammatory cytokine, interleukin-18 (IL18), has been shown in human atherosclerotic plaques.
Aims: To investigate whether IL18 and interleukin-18 binding protein (IL18BP) mRNA expression and IL18 -137 G/C (rs187238) variants are associated with CAS development.
Study Design: Case-control study.
Methods: IL18 and IL18BP mRNA expression and IL18 rs187238 variants were evaluated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and real-time PCR, respectively, in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of 70 patients with CAS (36 symptomatic, 34 asymptomatic) and 75 healthy controls.
Results: IL18 mRNA expression was significantly increased in CAS patients compared to healthy controls (p=0.01). However, there was no significant difference between IL18BP mRNA levels in patients with CAS and controls (p=0.101). ICA stenosis severity was higher in symptomatic patients than in asymptomatic patients (p<0.001). A borderline significant relationship was identified between IL18 expression and ICA stenosis severity in patients with CAS (p=0.051). IL18 rs187238 polymorphism genotype frequencies did not significantly differ between patients with CAS and controls (p=0.246). A significant difference was identified between IL18BP gene expression and symptomatic and asymptomatic patients (p=0.026) but no difference in IL18 expression was observed between the symptomatic and asymptomatic subgroups (p=0.397).
Conclusion: This study suggests that IL18 mRNA expression may affect CAS etiopathogenesis and ICA stenosis severity. Furthermore, our results indicate that IL18BP may play a mechanistic role in the pathogenesis of CAS, influencing symptom appearance.

Keywords : Carotid artery stenosis, IL-18, IL-18BP, gene expression, SNP rs187238
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