Background and Aims: Coronary atherosclerosis is a chronic non-resolving inflammatory process wherein the interaction of innate immune cells and platelets plays a major role. Circulating neutrophils, in particular, adhere to the activated endothelium and migrate into the vascular wall, promoting monocyte recruitment and influencing plaque phenotype and stability at all stages of its evolution. We aimed to evaluate, by flow cytometry, if blood neutrophil number and phenotype—including their phenotypic relationships with platelets, monocytes and lymphocytes—have an association with lipid-rich necrotic core volume (LRNCV), a generic index of coronary plaque vulnerability, in a group of stable patients with chronic coronary syndrome (CCS). Methods: In 55 patients, (68.53   1.07 years of age, mean   SEM; 71% male), the total LRNCV in each subject was assessed by a quantitative analysis of all coronary plaques detected by computed tomography coronary angiography (CTCA) and was normalized to the total plaque volume. The expression of CD14, CD16, CD18, CD11b, HLA-DR, CD163, CCR2, CCR5, CX3CR1, CXCR4 and CD41a cell surface markers was quantified by flow cytometry. Adhesion molecules, cytokines and chemokines, as well as MMP9 plasma levels, were measured by ELISA. Results: On a per-patient basis, LRNCV values were positively associated, by a multiple regression analysis, with the neutrophil count (n / L) (p = 0.02), neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (p = 0.007), neutrophil/platelet ratio (p = 0.01), neutrophil RFI CD11b expression (p = 0.02) and neutrophil–platelet adhesion index (p = 0.01). Significantly positive multiple regression associations of LRNCV values with phenotypic ratios between neutrophil RFI CD11b expression and several lymphocyte and monocyte surface markers were also observed. In the bivariate correlation analysis, a significantly positive association was found between RFI values of neutrophil–CD41a+ complexes and neutrophil RFI CD11b expression (p < 0.0001). Conclusions: These preliminary findings suggest that a sustained increase in circulating neutrophils, together with the up-regulation of the integrin/activation membrane neutrophil marker CD11b may contribute, through the progressive intra-plaque accumulation of necrotic/apoptotic cells exceeding the efferocytosis/anti-inflammatory capacity of infiltrating macrophages and lymphocytes, to the relative enlargement of the lipid-rich necrotic core volume of coronary plaques in stable CAD patients, thus increasing their individual risk of acute complication.

Association of Circulating Neutrophils with Relative Volume of Lipid-Rich Necrotic Core of Coronary Plaques in Stable Patients: A Substudy of SMARTool European Project

Cecchettini, A.;Bastiani, L.;Mazzone, A.;Vozzi, F.;Neglia, D.;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Background and Aims: Coronary atherosclerosis is a chronic non-resolving inflammatory process wherein the interaction of innate immune cells and platelets plays a major role. Circulating neutrophils, in particular, adhere to the activated endothelium and migrate into the vascular wall, promoting monocyte recruitment and influencing plaque phenotype and stability at all stages of its evolution. We aimed to evaluate, by flow cytometry, if blood neutrophil number and phenotype—including their phenotypic relationships with platelets, monocytes and lymphocytes—have an association with lipid-rich necrotic core volume (LRNCV), a generic index of coronary plaque vulnerability, in a group of stable patients with chronic coronary syndrome (CCS). Methods: In 55 patients, (68.53   1.07 years of age, mean   SEM; 71% male), the total LRNCV in each subject was assessed by a quantitative analysis of all coronary plaques detected by computed tomography coronary angiography (CTCA) and was normalized to the total plaque volume. The expression of CD14, CD16, CD18, CD11b, HLA-DR, CD163, CCR2, CCR5, CX3CR1, CXCR4 and CD41a cell surface markers was quantified by flow cytometry. Adhesion molecules, cytokines and chemokines, as well as MMP9 plasma levels, were measured by ELISA. Results: On a per-patient basis, LRNCV values were positively associated, by a multiple regression analysis, with the neutrophil count (n / L) (p = 0.02), neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (p = 0.007), neutrophil/platelet ratio (p = 0.01), neutrophil RFI CD11b expression (p = 0.02) and neutrophil–platelet adhesion index (p = 0.01). Significantly positive multiple regression associations of LRNCV values with phenotypic ratios between neutrophil RFI CD11b expression and several lymphocyte and monocyte surface markers were also observed. In the bivariate correlation analysis, a significantly positive association was found between RFI values of neutrophil–CD41a+ complexes and neutrophil RFI CD11b expression (p < 0.0001). Conclusions: These preliminary findings suggest that a sustained increase in circulating neutrophils, together with the up-regulation of the integrin/activation membrane neutrophil marker CD11b may contribute, through the progressive intra-plaque accumulation of necrotic/apoptotic cells exceeding the efferocytosis/anti-inflammatory capacity of infiltrating macrophages and lymphocytes, to the relative enlargement of the lipid-rich necrotic core volume of coronary plaques in stable CAD patients, thus increasing their individual risk of acute complication.
2023
Sbrana, S.; Cecchettini, A.; Bastiani, L.; Mazzone, A.; Vozzi, F.; Caselli, C.; Neglia, D.; Clemente, A.; Scholte, A. J. H. A.; Parodi, O; Pelosi, G.; Rocchiccioli, S.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1168185
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