Expression of Secretory Group IIA Phospholipase A2 in Relation to the Presence of Microbial Agents, Macrophage Infiltrates, and Transcripts of Proinflammatory Cytokines in Human Aortic Tissues

M. Menschikowski, A. Rosner-Schiering, R. Eckey, E. Mueller, R. Koch, W. Jaross
2000 Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology  
Recent seroepidemiological and immunohistochemical studies have demonstrated an association between microbial infections and atherosclerosis. However, the mechanisms underlying this association are widely unknown. In the present study, arterial specimens obtained at autopsy after sudden death were analyzed concerning (1) the presence of Chlamydia pneumoniae, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus, and Helicobacter pylori; (2) the expression of secretory group IIA phospholipase A 2 (sPLA 2 -IIA)
more » ... A 2 (sPLA 2 -IIA) and of proinflammatory cytokines; and (3) the stage of atherosclerosis. Genomic DNA of microbial pathogens was determined by the polymerase chain reaction technique. The expression of sPLA 2 -IIA was studied immunohistochemically by using monoclonal antibodies against human sPLA 2 -IIA. Transcripts specific for sPLA 2 -IIA, interleukin-1␤, tumor necrosis factor-␣, and interferon-␥ were identified by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. In 18 of 102 analyzed specimens, DNA of microbial pathogens was found. Thirteen sections were positive for C pneumoniae, whereas 2 specimens were positive either for cytomegalovirus or for herpes simplex virus. One section contained genomic DNA of all 3 pathogens simultaneously. None of the analyzed tissues exhibited nucleic acids specific for H pylori. In addition to macrophage infiltrates, the presence of microbial DNA was closely associated with the occurrence of transcripts specific for proinflammatory cytokines and sPLA 2 -IIA. Pathogens as well as sPLA 2 -IIA and cytokines were found to be present not only in advanced but also in early stages of atherosclerosis. In tissues negative for sPLA 2 -IIA and cytokine expression, none of the pathogens could be identified. Because macrophages exposed to phospholipase A 2 -treated lipoproteins are transformed into foam cells in vitro, the results of this study suggest an alternative mechanism by which microbial infections may act in a proatherogenic fashion in vessel walls. (Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2000;20:751-762.)
doi:10.1161/01.atv.20.3.751 pmid:10712401 fatcat:wthvaoprojde3f3utagmjlkloa