Publications by authors named "Sander W van der Laan"

57 Publications

Common Variants Associated With Expression Contribute to Carotid Plaque Vulnerability, but Not to Cardiovascular Disease in Humans.

Front Cardiovasc Med 2021 20;8:658915. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Central Diagnostics Laboratory, University Medical Center Utrecht, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands.

Oncostatin M (OSM) signaling is implicated in atherosclerosis, however the mechanism remains unclear. We investigated the impact of common genetic variants in and its receptors, and , on overall plaque vulnerability, plaque phenotype, intraplaque and expression, coronary artery calcification burden and cardiovascular disease susceptibility. We queried Genotype-Tissue Expression data and found that rs13168867 (C allele) was associated with decreased expression and that rs10491509 (A allele) was associated with increased expression in arterial tissues. No variant was significantly associated with expression. We associated these two variants with plaque characteristics from 1,443 genotyped carotid endarterectomy patients in the Athero-Express Biobank Study. After correction for multiple testing, rs13168867 was significantly associated with an increased overall plaque vulnerability (β = 0.118 ± s.e. = 0.040, = 3.00 × 10, C allele). Looking at individual plaque characteristics, rs13168867 showed strongest associations with intraplaque fat (β = 0.248 ± s.e. = 0.088, = 4.66 × 10, C allele) and collagen content (β = -0.259 ± s.e. = 0.095, = 6.22 × 10, C allele), but these associations were not significant after correction for multiple testing. rs13168867 was not associated with intraplaque expression. Neither was intraplaque expression associated with plaque vulnerability and no known eQTLs were associated with coronary artery calcification burden, or cardiovascular disease susceptibility. No associations were found for rs10491509 in the locus. Our study suggests that rs1316887 in the OSMR locus is associated with increased plaque vulnerability, but not with coronary calcification or cardiovascular disease risk. It remains unclear through which precise biological mechanisms OSM signaling exerts its effects on plaque morphology. However, the OSM-OSMR/LIFR pathway is unlikely to be causally involved in lifetime cardiovascular disease susceptibility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2021.658915DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8093786PMC
April 2021

Exploring the causal inference of shear stress associated DNA methylation in carotid plaque on cardiovascular risk.

Atherosclerosis 2021 05 6;325:30-37. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Central Diagnostics Laboratory, Division Laboratories, Pharmacy, and Biomedical Genetics, University Medical Center Utrecht, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Background And Aims: Atherosclerosis is a lipid-driven inflammatory disease presumably initiated by endothelial activation. Low vascular shear stress is known for its ability to activate endothelial cells. Differential DNA methylation (DNAm) is a relatively unexplored player in atherosclerotic disease development and endothelial dysfunction. Previous studies showed that the expression of 11 genes was associated with differential DNAm due to low shear stress in murine endothelial cells. We hypothesized a causal relationship between DNAm of shear stress associated genes in human carotid plaque and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Methods: Using Mendelian randomisation (MR) analysis, we explored the potential causal role of DNAm of shear stress associated genes on cardiovascular disease risk. We used data from the Athero-Expression Biobank Study for the discovery of methylation quantitative trait loci (mQTLs) in 442 advanced carotid plaques. Next, we performed MR analysis using these mQTLs and publicly available GWAS summary statistics of coronary artery disease (CAD) and ischemic stroke (IS).

Results: We discovered 9 mQTLs in plaque in the promoters of shear stress associated genes. We found no significant effect of shear stress gene promoter methylation and increased risk of CAD and IS.

Conclusions: Differential methylation of shear stress associated genes in advanced atherosclerotic plaques in unlikely to increase cardiovascular risk in human.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2021.03.043DOI Listing
May 2021

Hunt for the (Multi)-Marker Grail in the Diverse Landscape of Atherosclerosis.

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2021 05 8;41(5):1789-1791. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

Central Diagnostic Laboratory, University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/ATVBAHA.121.316167DOI Listing
May 2021

Common Genetic Variation in MC4R Does Not Affect Atherosclerotic Plaque Phenotypes and Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes.

J Clin Med 2021 Mar 1;10(5). Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Department Medicine, Division Endocrinology, Leiden University Medical Center, P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.

We analyzed the effects of the common BMI-increasing melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) rs17782313-C allele with a minor allele frequency of 0.22-0.25 on (1) cardiovascular disease outcomes in two large population-based cohorts (Copenhagen City Heart Study and Copenhagen General Population Study, = 106,018; and UK Biobank, = 357,426) and additionally in an elderly population at risk for cardiovascular disease ( = 5241), and on (2) atherosclerotic plaque phenotypes in samples of patients who underwent endarterectomy ( = 1439). Using regression models, we additionally analyzed whether potential associations were modified by sex or explained by changes in body mass index. We confirmed the BMI-increasing effects of +0.22 kg/m per additional copy of the C allele ( < 0.001). However, we found no evidence for an association of common MC4R genetic variation with coronary artery disease (HR 1.03; 95% CI 0.99, 1.07), ischemic vascular disease (HR 1.00; 95% CI 0.98, 1.03), myocardial infarction (HR 1.01; 95% CI 0.94, 1.08 and 1.02; 0.98, 1.07) or stroke (HR 0.93; 95% CI 0.85, 1.01), nor with any atherosclerotic plaque phenotype. Thus, common MC4R genetic variation, despite increasing BMI, does not affect cardiovascular disease risk in the general population or in populations at risk for cardiovascular disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm10050932DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7957774PMC
March 2021

Unfolding and disentangling coronary vascular disease through genome-wide association studies.

Eur Heart J 2021 03;42(9):934-937

Laboratory of Clinical Chemistry and Hematology, Division of Laboratories and Pharmacy, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehaa1089DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7936521PMC
March 2021

Functional investigation of the coronary artery disease gene SVEP1.

Basic Res Cardiol 2020 11 13;115(6):67. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

Department of Cardiology, German Heart Centre Munich, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany.

A missense variant of the sushi, von Willebrand factor type A, EGF and pentraxin domain containing protein 1 (SVEP1) is genome-wide significantly associated with coronary artery disease. The mechanisms how SVEP1 impacts atherosclerosis are not known. We found endothelial cells (EC) and vascular smooth muscle cells to represent the major cellular source of SVEP1 in plaques. Plaques were larger in atherosclerosis-prone Svep1 haploinsufficient (ApoESvep1) compared to Svep1 wild-type mice (ApoESvep1) and ApoESvep1 mice displayed elevated plaque neutrophil, Ly6C monocyte, and macrophage numbers. We assessed how leukocytes accumulated more inside plaques in ApoESvep1 mice and found enhanced leukocyte recruitment from blood into plaques. In vitro, we examined how SVEP1 deficiency promotes leukocyte recruitment and found elevated expression of the leukocyte attractant chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 1 (CXCL1) in EC after incubation with missense compared to wild-type SVEP1. Increasing wild-type SVEP1 levels silenced endothelial CXCL1 release. In line, plasma Cxcl1 levels were elevated in ApoESvep1 mice. Our studies reveal an atheroprotective role of SVEP1. Deficiency of wild-type Svep1 increased endothelial CXCL1 expression leading to enhanced recruitment of proinflammatory leukocytes from blood to plaque. Consequently, elevated vascular inflammation resulted in enhanced plaque progression in Svep1 deficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00395-020-00828-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7666586PMC
November 2020

Genetic Regulation of Atherosclerosis-Relevant Phenotypes in Human Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells.

Circ Res 2020 12 12;127(12):1552-1565. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Center for Public Health Genomics (R.A., A.A., J.H., L.C., J.Y.S., D.L., E.F., R.A.-W., N.A., A.W.M., S.O.-G., C.L.M., M.C.), University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

Rationale: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Recent genome-wide association studies revealed 163 loci associated with CAD. However, the precise molecular mechanisms by which the majority of these loci increase CAD risk are not known. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) are critical in the development of CAD. They can play either beneficial or detrimental roles in lesion pathogenesis, depending on the nature of their phenotypic changes.

Objective: To identify genetic variants associated with atherosclerosis-relevant phenotypes in VSMCs.

Methods And Results: We quantified 12 atherosclerosis-relevant phenotypes related to calcification, proliferation, and migration in VSMCs isolated from 151 multiethnic heart transplant donors. After genotyping and imputation, we performed association mapping using 6.3 million genetic variants. We demonstrated significant variations in calcification, proliferation, and migration. These phenotypes were not correlated with each other. We performed genome-wide association studies for 12 atherosclerosis-relevant phenotypes and identified 4 genome-wide significant loci associated with at least one VSMC phenotype. We overlapped the previously identified CAD loci with our data set and found nominally significant associations at 79 loci. One of them was the chromosome 1q41 locus, which harbors . The G allele of the lead risk single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs67180937 was associated with lower VSMC expression and lower proliferation. Lentivirus-mediated silencing of MIA3 (melanoma inhibitory activity protein 3) in VSMCs resulted in lower proliferation, consistent with human genetics findings. Furthermore, we observed a significant reduction of MIA3 protein in VSMCs in thin fibrous caps of late-stage atherosclerotic plaques compared to early fibroatheroma with thick and protective fibrous caps in mice and humans.

Conclusions: Our data demonstrate that genetic variants have significant influences on VSMC function relevant to the development of atherosclerosis. Furthermore, high expression may promote atheroprotective VSMC phenotypic transitions, including increased proliferation, which is essential in the formation or maintenance of a protective fibrous cap.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.120.317415DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7718324PMC
December 2020

Microanatomy of the Human Atherosclerotic Plaque by Single-Cell Transcriptomics.

Circ Res 2020 11 28;127(11):1437-1455. Epub 2020 Sep 28.

Laboratory of Clinical Chemistry and Haematology, University Medical Center, Heidelberglaan 100, Utrecht, the Netherlands (L.S., A.B., F.W.A., S.W.v.d.L., M.M., G.P.).

Rationale: Atherosclerotic lesions are known for their cellular heterogeneity, yet the molecular complexity within the cells of human plaques has not been fully assessed.

Objective: Using single-cell transcriptomics and chromatin accessibility, we gained a better understanding of the pathophysiology underlying human atherosclerosis.

Methods And Results: We performed single-cell RNA and single-cell ATAC sequencing on human carotid atherosclerotic plaques to define the cells at play and determine their transcriptomic and epigenomic characteristics. We identified 14 distinct cell populations including endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, mast cells, B cells, myeloid cells, and T cells and identified multiple cellular activation states and suggested cellular interconversions. Within the endothelial cell population, we defined subsets with angiogenic capacity plus clear signs of endothelial to mesenchymal transition. CD4 and CD8 T cells showed activation-based subclasses, each with a gradual decline from a cytotoxic to a more quiescent phenotype. Myeloid cells included 2 populations of proinflammatory macrophages showing IL (interleukin) 1B or TNF (tumor necrosis factor) expression as well as a foam cell-like population expressing TREM2 (triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2) and displaying a fibrosis-promoting phenotype. ATACseq data identified specific transcription factors associated with the myeloid subpopulation and T cell cytokine profiles underlying mutual activation between both cell types. Finally, cardiovascular disease susceptibility genes identified using public genome-wide association studies data were particularly enriched in lesional macrophages, endothelial, and smooth muscle cells.

Conclusions: This study provides a transcriptome-based cellular landscape of human atherosclerotic plaques and highlights cellular plasticity and intercellular communication at the site of disease. This detailed definition of cell communities at play in atherosclerosis will facilitate cell-based mapping of novel interventional targets with direct functional relevance for the treatment of human disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.120.316770DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7641189PMC
November 2020

Association of Factor V Leiden With Subsequent Atherothrombotic Events: A GENIUS-CHD Study of Individual Participant Data.

Circulation 2020 08 13;142(6):546-555. Epub 2020 Jul 13.

Department of Cardiology, Division Heart and Lungs (V.T., A.F.S., J.v.S., A.O.K., F.W.A.), UMC Utrecht, Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

Background: Studies examining the role of factor V Leiden among patients at higher risk of atherothrombotic events, such as those with established coronary heart disease (CHD), are lacking. Given that coagulation is involved in the thrombus formation stage on atherosclerotic plaque rupture, we hypothesized that factor V Leiden may be a stronger risk factor for atherothrombotic events in patients with established CHD.

Methods: We performed an individual-level meta-analysis including 25 prospective studies (18 cohorts, 3 case-cohorts, 4 randomized trials) from the GENIUS-CHD (Genetics of Subsequent Coronary Heart Disease) consortium involving patients with established CHD at baseline. Participating studies genotyped factor V Leiden status and shared risk estimates for the outcomes of interest using a centrally developed statistical code with harmonized definitions across studies. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to obtain age- and sex-adjusted estimates. The obtained estimates were pooled using fixed-effect meta-analysis. The primary outcome was composite of myocardial infarction and CHD death. Secondary outcomes included any stroke, ischemic stroke, coronary revascularization, cardiovascular mortality, and all-cause mortality.

Results: The studies included 69 681 individuals of whom 3190 (4.6%) were either heterozygous or homozygous (n=47) carriers of factor V Leiden. Median follow-up per study ranged from 1.0 to 10.6 years. A total of 20 studies with 61 147 participants and 6849 events contributed to analyses of the primary outcome. Factor V Leiden was not associated with the combined outcome of myocardial infarction and CHD death (hazard ratio, 1.03 [95% CI, 0.92-1.16]; =28%; -heterogeneity=0.12). Subgroup analysis according to baseline characteristics or strata of traditional cardiovascular risk factors did not show relevant differences. Similarly, risk estimates for the secondary outcomes including stroke, coronary revascularization, cardiovascular mortality, and all-cause mortality were also close to identity.

Conclusions: Factor V Leiden was not associated with increased risk of subsequent atherothrombotic events and mortality in high-risk participants with established and treated CHD. Routine assessment of factor V Leiden status is unlikely to improve atherothrombotic events risk stratification in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.119.045526DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7493828PMC
August 2020

Family history and polygenic risk of cardiovascular disease: Independent factors associated with secondary cardiovascular events in patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy.

Atherosclerosis 2020 08 3;307:121-129. Epub 2020 May 3.

Laboratory of Clinical Chemistry and Hematology, Division Laboratories and Pharmacy, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Background And Aims: Family history (FHx) of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a risk factor for CVD and a proxy for cardiovascular heritability. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) summarizing >1 million variants for coronary artery disease (CAD) are associated with incident and recurrent CAD events. However, little is known about the influence of FHx or PRS on secondary cardiovascular events (sCVE) in patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy (CEA).

Methods: We included 1788 CEA patients from the Athero-Express Biobank. A weighted PRS for CAD including 1.7 million variants was calculated (MetaGRS). The composite endpoint of sCVE during three years of follow-up included coronary, cerebrovascular and peripheral events and cardiovascular death. We assessed the impact of FHx and MetaGRS on sCVE and carotid plaque composition.

Results: Positive FHx was associated with a higher 3-year risk of sCVE independent of cardiovascular risk factors and MetaGRS (adjusted HR 1.40, 95%CI 1.07-1.82, p = 0.013). Patients in the highest MetaGRS quintile had a higher 3-year risk of sCVE compared to the rest of the cohort independent of cardiovascular risk factors including FHx (adjusted HR 1.35, 95%CI 1.01-1.79, p = 0.043), and their atherosclerotic plaques contained more fat (adjusted OR 1.59, 95%CI, 1.11-2.29, p = 0.013) and more macrophages (OR 1.49, 95%CI 1.12-1.99, p = 0.006).

Conclusions: In CEA patients, both positive FHx and higher MetaGRS were independently associated with increased risk of sCVE. Moreover, higher MetaGRS was associated with vulnerable plaque characteristics. Future studies should unravel underlying mechanisms and focus on the added value of PRS and FHx in individual risk prediction for sCVE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2020.04.013DOI Listing
August 2020

Alternate approach to stroke phenotyping identifies a genetic risk locus for small vessel stroke.

Eur J Hum Genet 2020 07 11;28(7):963-972. Epub 2020 Feb 11.

Genetics, Center for Molecular Medicine, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Ischemic stroke (IS), caused by obstruction of cerebral blood flow, is one of the leading causes of death. While neurologists agree on delineation of IS into three subtypes (cardioembolic stroke (CES), large artery stroke (LAS), and small vessel stroke (SVS)), several subtyping systems exist. The most commonly used systems are TOAST (Trial of Org 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment) and CCS (Causative Classification System for Stroke), but agreement is only moderate. We have compared two approaches to combining the existing subtyping systems for a phenotype suited for a genome-wide association study (GWAS). We used the NINDS Stroke Genetics Network dataset (SiGN, 11,477 cases with CCS and TOAST subtypes and 28,026 controls). We defined two new phenotypes: the intersect, for which an individual must be assigned the same subtype by CCS and TOAST; and the union, for which an individual must be assigned a subtype by either CCS or TOAST. The union yields the largest sample size while the intersect yields a phenotype with less potential misclassification. We performed GWAS for all subtypes, using the original subtyping systems, the intersect, and the union as phenotypes. In each subtype, heritability was higher for the intersect compared with the other phenotypes. We observed stronger effects at known IS variants with the intersect compared with the other phenotypes. With the intersect, we identify rs10029218:G>A as an associated variant with SVS. We conclude that this approach increases the likelihood to detect genetic associations in ischemic stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-020-0580-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7316747PMC
July 2020

Beyond GWAS in Atrial Fibrillation Genetics.

Circ Res 2020 01 30;126(3):361-363. Epub 2020 Jan 30.

Department of Cardiology, Division Heart and Lungs, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, the Netherlands (F.W.A.); and Institute of Cardiovascular Science and Health Informatics, Faculty of Population Health Sciences, University College London, United Kingdom.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.119.316479DOI Listing
January 2020

PCSK6 Is a Key Protease in the Control of Smooth Muscle Cell Function in Vascular Remodeling.

Circ Res 2020 02 2;126(5):571-585. Epub 2020 Jan 2.

From the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institute and Karolinska University Hospital Solna, Stockholm, Sweden (U.R., B.E.S., S.R., A.R., M.L., M.K., U.H., L.M.).

Rationale: PCSKs (Proprotein convertase subtilisins/kexins) are a protease family with unknown functions in vasculature. Previously, we demonstrated PCSK6 upregulation in human atherosclerotic plaques associated with smooth muscle cells (SMCs), inflammation, extracellular matrix remodeling, and mitogens.

Objective: Here, we applied a systems biology approach to gain deeper insights into the PCSK6 role in normal and diseased vessel wall.

Methods And Results: Genetic analyses revealed association of intronic variant rs1531817 with maximum internal carotid intima-media thickness progression in high-cardiovascular risk subjects. This variant was linked with PCSK6 mRNA expression in healthy aortas and plaques but also with overall plaque SMA+ cell content and pericyte fraction. Increased PCSK6 expression was found in several independent human cohorts comparing atherosclerotic lesions versus healthy arteries, using transcriptomic and proteomic datasets. By immunohistochemistry, PCSK6 was localized to fibrous cap SMA+ cells and neovessels in plaques. In human, rat, and mouse intimal hyperplasia, PCSK6 was expressed by proliferating SMA+ cells and upregulated after 5 days in rat carotid balloon injury model, with positive correlation to PDGFB (platelet-derived growth factor subunit B) and MMP (matrix metalloprotease) 2/MMP14. Here, PCSK6 was shown to colocalize and cointeract with MMP2/MMP14 by in situ proximity ligation assay. Microarrays of carotid arteries from Pcsk6 versus control mice revealed suppression of contractile SMC markers, extracellular matrix remodeling enzymes, and cytokines/receptors. Pcsk6 mice showed reduced intimal hyperplasia response upon carotid ligation in vivo, accompanied by decreased MMP14 activation and impaired SMC outgrowth from aortic rings ex vivo. PCSK6 silencing in human SMCs in vitro leads to downregulation of contractile markers and increase in MMP2 expression. Conversely, PCSK6 overexpression increased PDGFBB (platelet-derived growth factor BB)-induced cell proliferation and particularly migration.

Conclusions: PCSK6 is a novel protease that induces SMC migration in response to PDGFB, mechanistically via modulation of contractile markers and MMP14 activation. This study establishes PCSK6 as a key regulator of SMC function in vascular remodeling. Visual Overview: An online visual overview is available for this article.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.119.316063DOI Listing
February 2020

Polygenic Susceptibility of Aortic Aneurysms Associates to the Diameter of the Aneurysm Sac: the Aneurysm-Express Biobank Cohort.

Sci Rep 2019 12 27;9(1):19844. Epub 2019 Dec 27.

Laboratory of Clinical Chemistry and Hematology, Division Laboratories, Pharmacy, and Biomedical genetics, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have discovered ten genetic risk variants for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). To what extent these genetic variants contribute to the pathology of aneurysms is yet unknown. The present study aims to investigate whether genetic risk variants are associated with three clinical features: diameter of aneurysm sac, type of artery and aneurysm related-symptoms in aortic and peripheral aneurysm patients. Aneurysm tissue of 415 patients included in the Aneurysm-Express biobank was used. A best-fit polygenic risk score (PRS) based on previous GWAS effect estimates was modeled for each clinical phenotype. The best-fit PRS (including 272 variants at P = 0.01015) showed a significant correlation with aneurysm diameter (R = 0.019, p = 0.001). No polygenic association was found with clinical symptoms or artery type. In addition, the ten genome-wide significant risk variants for AAA were tested individually, but no associations were observed with any of the clinical phenotypes. All models were corrected for confounders and data was normalized. In conclusion, a weighted PRS of AAA susceptibility explained 1.9% of the phenotypic variation (p = 0.001) in diameter in aneurysm patients. Given our limited sample size, future biobank collaborations need to confirm a potential causal role of susceptibility variants on aneurysmal disease initiation and progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-56230-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6934821PMC
December 2019

Platelet RNA modules point to coronary calcification in asymptomatic women with former preeclampsia.

Atherosclerosis 2019 12 11;291:114-121. Epub 2019 Oct 11.

Laboratory of Experimental Cardiology, UMC Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Background And Aims: Women who develop preeclampsia during pregnancy are at a higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease. As platelets are affected by preeclampsia, we set out to identify whether platelets carry information in their transcriptome on cardiovascular risk in women with former preeclampsia.

Methods: Platelets were isolated from asymptomatic women with previous preeclampsia, who underwent screening with coronary computed tomography angiography. Platelet RNA was isolated and used to construct gene networks using an unbiased approach. Platelet gene modules assembled from the network were related to risk factors and clinical traits of these women, including coronary artery calcium scores (CACS).

Results: We found multiple gene modules which correlated with CACS (correlation coefficients: 0.44 to 0.59, p = 0.05 to 0.007). The genes from two clinically relevant modules were expressed at a higher level in the group with calcifications (p = 3.9 × 10 and 0.02) and enriched for platelet-related gene-sets such as platelet activation. The first of these modules was also enriched (p = 0.0546) for genes mapped to known coronary artery disease susceptibility loci. Additional unbiased network analyses in platelet RNA of patients with overt cardiovascular disease underlined the importance of the identified modules for disease by high preservation. (p = 1.6 × 10 to 1.7 × 10).

Conclusions: We found platelet RNA modules that correlated with CACS in asymptomatic women with previous preeclampsia. Whether or not platelets directly contribute to this disease trajectory, or reflect the underlying plaque substrate remains to be determined, but enrichment for coronary artery disease susceptibility genes emphasizes the importance for the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2019.10.009DOI Listing
December 2019

Associations of autozygosity with a broad range of human phenotypes.

Nat Commun 2019 10 31;10(1):4957. Epub 2019 Oct 31.

Department of Neurology, Brain Centre Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, 3584 CX, The Netherlands.

In many species, the offspring of related parents suffer reduced reproductive success, a phenomenon known as inbreeding depression. In humans, the importance of this effect has remained unclear, partly because reproduction between close relatives is both rare and frequently associated with confounding social factors. Here, using genomic inbreeding coefficients (F) for >1.4 million individuals, we show that F is significantly associated (p < 0.0005) with apparently deleterious changes in 32 out of 100 traits analysed. These changes are associated with runs of homozygosity (ROH), but not with common variant homozygosity, suggesting that genetic variants associated with inbreeding depression are predominantly rare. The effect on fertility is striking: F equivalent to the offspring of first cousins is associated with a 55% decrease [95% CI 44-66%] in the odds of having children. Finally, the effects of F are confirmed within full-sibling pairs, where the variation in F is independent of all environmental confounding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12283-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6823371PMC
October 2019

Association of Chromosome 9p21 With Subsequent Coronary Heart Disease Events.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2019 04 21;12(4):e002471. Epub 2019 Mar 21.

Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital (M.H.).

Background: Genetic variation at chromosome 9p21 is a recognized risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD). However, its effect on disease progression and subsequent events is unclear, raising questions about its value for stratification of residual risk.

Methods: A variant at chromosome 9p21 (rs1333049) was tested for association with subsequent events during follow-up in 103 357 Europeans with established CHD at baseline from the GENIUS-CHD (Genetics of Subsequent Coronary Heart Disease) Consortium (73.1% male, mean age 62.9 years). The primary outcome, subsequent CHD death or myocardial infarction (CHD death/myocardial infarction), occurred in 13 040 of the 93 115 participants with available outcome data. Effect estimates were compared with case/control risk obtained from the CARDIoGRAMplusC4D consortium (Coronary Artery Disease Genome-wide Replication and Meta-analysis [CARDIoGRAM] plus The Coronary Artery Disease [C4D] Genetics) including 47 222 CHD cases and 122 264 controls free of CHD.

Results: Meta-analyses revealed no significant association between chromosome 9p21 and the primary outcome of CHD death/myocardial infarction among those with established CHD at baseline (GENIUS-CHD odds ratio, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.99-1.05). This contrasted with a strong association in CARDIoGRAMPlusC4D odds ratio 1.20; 95% CI, 1.18-1.22; P for interaction <0.001 compared with the GENIUS-CHD estimate. Similarly, no clear associations were identified for additional subsequent outcomes, including all-cause death, although we found a modest positive association between chromosome 9p21 and subsequent revascularization (odds ratio, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.04-1.09).

Conclusions: In contrast to studies comparing individuals with CHD to disease-free controls, we found no clear association between genetic variation at chromosome 9p21 and risk of subsequent acute CHD events when all individuals had CHD at baseline. However, the association with subsequent revascularization may support the postulated mechanism of chromosome 9p21 for promoting atheroma development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.119.002471DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6625876PMC
April 2019

Subsequent Event Risk in Individuals With Established Coronary Heart Disease.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2019 04 21;12(4):e002470. Epub 2019 Mar 21.

Department of Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research, Centre for Pharmacogenomics (Y.G., R.M.C.-D., J.A.J.), University of Florida, Gainesville.

Background: The Genetics of Subsequent Coronary Heart Disease (GENIUS-CHD) consortium was established to facilitate discovery and validation of genetic variants and biomarkers for risk of subsequent CHD events, in individuals with established CHD.

Methods: The consortium currently includes 57 studies from 18 countries, recruiting 185 614 participants with either acute coronary syndrome, stable CHD, or a mixture of both at baseline. All studies collected biological samples and followed-up study participants prospectively for subsequent events.

Results: Enrollment into the individual studies took place between 1985 to present day with a duration of follow-up ranging from 9 months to 15 years. Within each study, participants with CHD are predominantly of self-reported European descent (38%-100%), mostly male (44%-91%) with mean ages at recruitment ranging from 40 to 75 years. Initial feasibility analyses, using a federated analysis approach, yielded expected associations between age (hazard ratio, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.14-1.16) per 5-year increase, male sex (hazard ratio, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.13-1.21) and smoking (hazard ratio, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.35-1.51) with risk of subsequent CHD death or myocardial infarction and differing associations with other individual and composite cardiovascular endpoints.

Conclusions: GENIUS-CHD is a global collaboration seeking to elucidate genetic and nongenetic determinants of subsequent event risk in individuals with established CHD, to improve residual risk prediction and identify novel drug targets for secondary prevention. Initial analyses demonstrate the feasibility and reliability of a federated analysis approach. The consortium now plans to initiate and test novel hypotheses as well as supporting replication and validation analyses for other investigators.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.119.002470DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6629546PMC
April 2019

Circulating CD14CD16 classical monocytes do not associate with a vulnerable plaque phenotype, and do not predict secondary events in severe atherosclerotic patients.

J Mol Cell Cardiol 2019 02 7;127:260-269. Epub 2019 Jan 7.

Laboratory for Experimental Cardiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.; Laboratory of Translational Immunology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Aims: Mouse studies have established distinct monocyte subtypes that participate in the process of atherosclerotic lesion formation. The pro-inflammatory Ly6C monocyte subtype actively contributes to murine plaque progression and destabilization. Also in humans, different peripheral monocyte subtypes have been identified, of which the CD14CD16 classical monocyte is suggested to display similar pro-atherosclerotic properties as the murine Ly6C subtype. We aimed to investigate if circulating CD14CD16 classical monocytes associate with characteristics of a vulnerable carotid atherosclerotic plaque and if they associate with the risk of secondary adverse manifestations of atherosclerotic disease.

Methods And Results: We enrolled 175 carotid endarterectomy patients of the Athero-Express biobank in our study. Just prior to surgical procedure, blood was collected and peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated. Characterization of monocyte subsets was performed by flow cytometry. Plaque characteristics were semi-quantitatively scored for the presence of fat, collagen, intraplaque hemorrhage and calcification. Vessel density, smooth muscle cells and macrophages were assessed quantitatively on a continuous scale. All features of a vulnerable plaque phenotype, including low amounts of collagen and smooth muscle cells, and increased fat content, vessel density, intraplaque hemorrhage and plaque macrophages were not significantly associated with differential levels of peripheral classical CD14CD16 monocytes or other monocyte subsets. Using Cox regression models to evaluate the prognostic value of circulating monocyte subtypes, we found that total counts of peripheral monocytes, as well as CD14CD16 classical and other monocyte subtypes were not associated with the risk of secondary cardiovascular events during 3 years follow-up.

Conclusion: Circulating classical CD14CD16 monocytes do not associate with specific vulnerable plaque characteristics. In addition, they do not predict secondary adverse manifestations. This suggests that in patients with established carotid artery disease, the circulating monocytes do not reflect plaque characteristics and have no value in identifying patients at risk for future cardiovascular events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yjmcc.2019.01.002DOI Listing
February 2019

Genetic Susceptibility Loci for Cardiovascular Disease and Their Impact on Atherosclerotic Plaques.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2018 09;11(9):e002115

Laboratory of Experimental Cardiology, Division Heart and Lungs, University Medical Center Utrecht, University Utrecht, The Netherlands (S.W.v.d.L., M.A.S., S.H., H.M.d.R., G.P.).

Background: Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease in part caused by lipid uptake in the vascular wall, but the exact underlying mechanisms leading to acute myocardial infarction and stroke remain poorly understood. Large consortia identified genetic susceptibility loci that associate with large artery ischemic stroke and coronary artery disease. However, deciphering their underlying mechanisms are challenging. Histological studies identified destabilizing characteristics in human atherosclerotic plaques that associate with clinical outcome. To what extent established susceptibility loci for large artery ischemic stroke and coronary artery disease relate to plaque characteristics is thus far unknown but may point to novel mechanisms.

Methods: We studied the associations of 61 established cardiovascular risk loci with 7 histological plaque characteristics assessed in 1443 carotid plaque specimens from the Athero-Express Biobank Study. We also assessed if the genotyped cardiovascular risk loci impact the tissue-specific gene expression in 2 independent biobanks, Biobank of Karolinska Endarterectomy and Stockholm Atherosclerosis Gene Expression.

Results: A total of 21 established risk variants (out of 61) nominally associated to a plaque characteristic. One variant (rs12539895, risk allele A) at 7q22 associated to a reduction of intraplaque fat, P=5.09×10 after correction for multiple testing. We further characterized this 7q22 Locus and show tissue-specific effects of rs12539895 on HBP1 expression in plaques and COG5 expression in whole blood and provide data from public resources showing an association with decreased LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and increase HDL (high-density lipoprotein) in the blood.

Conclusions: Our study supports the view that cardiovascular susceptibility loci may exert their effect by influencing the atherosclerotic plaque characteristics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.118.002115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7664607PMC
September 2018

Smoking is Associated to DNA Methylation in Atherosclerotic Carotid Lesions.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2018 09;11(9):e002030

Laboratory of Clinical Chemistry and Hematology, University Medical Center Utrecht, University of Utrecht, the Netherlands (S.H., G.P.).

Background: Tobacco smoking is a major risk factor for atherosclerotic disease and has been associated with DNA methylation (DNAm) changes in blood cells. However, whether smoking influences DNAm in the diseased vascular wall is unknown but may prove crucial in understanding the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis. In this study, we associated current tobacco smoking to epigenome-wide DNAm in atherosclerotic plaques from patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy.

Methods: DNAm at commonly methylated sites (cytosine-guanine nucleotide pairs separated by a phospho-group [CpGs]) was assessed in atherosclerotic plaque samples and peripheral blood samples from 485 carotid endarterectomy patients. We tested the association of current tobacco smoking with DNAm corrected for age and sex. To control for bias and inflation because of cellular heterogeneity, we applied a Bayesian method to estimate an empirical null distribution as implemented by the R package bacon. Replication of the smoking-associated methylated CpGs in atherosclerotic plaques was executed in the second sample of 190 carotid endarterectomy patients, and results were meta-analyzed using a fixed-effects model.

Results: Tobacco smoking was significantly associated to differential DNAm in atherosclerotic lesions of 4 CpGs (false discovery rate <0.05) mapped to 2 different genes ( AHRR, ITPK1) and 17 CpGs mapped to 8 genes and RNAs in blood. The strongest associations were found for CpGs mapped to the gene AHRR, a repressor of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor transcription factor involved in xenobiotic detoxification. One of these methylated CpGs were found to be regulated by local genetic variation.

Conclusions: The risk factor tobacco smoking associates with DNAm at multiple loci in carotid atherosclerotic lesions. These observations support further investigation of the relationship between risk factors and epigenetic regulation in atherosclerotic disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.117.002030DOI Listing
September 2018

Testosterone to oestradiol ratio reflects systemic and plaque inflammation and predicts future cardiovascular events in men with severe atherosclerosis.

Cardiovasc Res 2019 02;115(2):453-462

Laboratory of Experimental Cardiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, University of Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, CX Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Aims: The effects of testosterone on cardiovascular disease (CVD) as reported in literature have been ambiguous. Recently, the interplay between testosterone and oestradiol as assessed by testosterone/oestradiol (T/E2) ratio was suggested to be better informative on the normal physiological balance. Considering the role in CVD, we hypothesized that a low T/E2 ratio in men with CVD is associated with increased inflammation, a more unstable plaque and a worse cardiovascular outcome.

Methods And Results: Testosterone and oestradiol concentrations were determined in blood samples of 611 male carotid endarterectomy patients included in the Athero-Express Biobank Study. T/E2 ratio was associated with baseline characteristics, atherosclerotic plaque specimens, inflammatory biomarkers, and 3 year follow-up information. Patients with low T/E2 ratio had more unfavourable inflammatory profiles compared with patients with high T/E2 as observed by higher levels of C-reactive protein [2.81 μg/mL vs. 1.22 μg/mL (P < 0.001)] and higher leucocyte counts [8.98*109/L vs. 7.75*109/L (P = 0.001)] in blood. In atherosclerotic plaques, a negative association between T/E2 ratio and number of neutrophils [B = -0.366 (P = 0.012)], plaque calcifications [OR: 0.816 (P = 0.044)], interleukin-6 (IL-6) [B = -0.15 (P = 0.009)], and IL-6 receptor [B = -0.13 (P = 0.024)] was found. Furthermore, in multivariate Cox regression analysis, low T/E2 ratio was independently associated with an increased risk for major cardiovascular events (MACE) during 3 year follow-up [hazard ratio 1.67 (95% confidence interval 1.02-2.76), P = 0.043]. In men with elevated body mass index (BMI), these effects were strongest.

Conclusion: In male patients with manifest atherosclerotic disease, low T/E2 ratio was associated with increased systemic inflammation, increased inflammatory plaque proteins, and an increased risk of future MACE as compared to men with normal T/E2 ratio. These effects are strongest in men with elevated BMI and are expected to be affected by aromatase activity in white fat tissues. Normalization of T/E2 ratio may be considered as target for the secondary prevention of CVD in men.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvy188DOI Listing
February 2019

From lipid locus to drug target through human genomics.

Cardiovasc Res 2018 07;114(9):1258-1270

Department of Cardiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, University of Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, 3584 CX Utrecht, the Netherlands.

In the last decade, over 175 genetic loci have robustly been associated to levels of major circulating blood lipids. Most loci are specific to one or two lipids, whereas some (SUGP1, ZPR1, TRIB1, HERPUD1, and FADS1) are associated to all. While exposing the polygenic architecture of circulating lipids and the underpinnings of dyslipidaemia, these genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have provided further evidence of the critical role that lipids play in coronary heart disease (CHD) risk, as indicated by the 2.7-fold enrichment for macrophage gene expression in atherosclerotic plaques and the association of 25 loci (such as PCSK9, APOB, ABCG5-G8, KCNK5, LPL, HMGCR, NPC1L1, CETP, TRIB1, ABO, PMAIP1-MC4R, and LDLR) with CHD. These GWAS also confirmed known and commonly used therapeutic targets, including HMGCR (statins), PCSK9 (antibodies), and NPC1L1 (ezetimibe). As we head into the post-GWAS era, we offer suggestions for how to move forward beyond genetic risk loci, towards refining the biology behind the associations and identifying causal genes and therapeutic targets. Deep phenotyping through lipidomics and metabolomics will refine and increase the resolution to find causal and druggable targets, and studies aimed at demonstrating gene transcriptional and regulatory effects of lipid associated loci will further aid in identifying these targets. Thus, we argue the need for deeply phenotyped, large genetic association studies to reduce costs and failures and increase the efficiency of the drug discovery pipeline. We conjecture that in the next decade a paradigm shift will tip the balance towards a data-driven approach to therapeutic target development and the application of precision medicine where human genomics takes centre stage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvy120DOI Listing
July 2018

Multiancestry genome-wide association study of 520,000 subjects identifies 32 loci associated with stroke and stroke subtypes.

Nat Genet 2018 04 12;50(4):524-537. Epub 2018 Mar 12.

Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Royal Holloway University of London, London, UK, and Ashford and St Peters Hospital, Surrey, UK.

Stroke has multiple etiologies, but the underlying genes and pathways are largely unknown. We conducted a multiancestry genome-wide-association meta-analysis in 521,612 individuals (67,162 cases and 454,450 controls) and discovered 22 new stroke risk loci, bringing the total to 32. We further found shared genetic variation with related vascular traits, including blood pressure, cardiac traits, and venous thromboembolism, at individual loci (n = 18), and using genetic risk scores and linkage-disequilibrium-score regression. Several loci exhibited distinct association and pleiotropy patterns for etiological stroke subtypes. Eleven new susceptibility loci indicate mechanisms not previously implicated in stroke pathophysiology, with prioritization of risk variants and genes accomplished through bioinformatics analyses using extensive functional datasets. Stroke risk loci were significantly enriched in drug targets for antithrombotic therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-018-0058-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5968830PMC
April 2018

Network analysis of coronary artery disease risk genes elucidates disease mechanisms and druggable targets.

Sci Rep 2018 02 21;8(1):3434. Epub 2018 Feb 21.

Clinical Gene Networks AB, Stockholm, Sweden.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified over two hundred chromosomal loci that modulate risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). The genes affected by variants at these loci are largely unknown and an untapped resource to improve our understanding of CAD pathophysiology and identify potential therapeutic targets. Here, we prioritized 68 genes as the most likely causal genes at genome-wide significant loci identified by GWAS of CAD and examined their regulatory roles in 286 metabolic and vascular tissue gene-protein sub-networks ("modules"). The modules and genes within were scored for CAD druggability potential. The scoring enriched for targets of cardiometabolic drugs currently in clinical use and in-depth analysis of the top-scoring modules validated established and revealed novel target tissues, biological processes, and druggable targets. This study provides an unprecedented resource of tissue-defined gene-protein interactions directly affected by genetic variance in CAD risk loci.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-20721-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5821758PMC
February 2018

Impaired kidney function is associated with intraplaque hemorrhage in patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy.

Atherosclerosis 2017 Nov 22;266:128-135. Epub 2017 Sep 22.

Laboratory of Experimental Cardiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Background And Aims: Previously, we showed that patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy have an increased risk for major atherosclerotic events in the presence of moderate or poor kidney function. Acceleration of vascular inflammatory responses is considered to be causally involved in progression of atherogenesis and poor outcome in chronic kidney disease patients. The association between kidney function and plaque composition has not been thoroughly investigated yet. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between kidney function and atherosclerotic plaque composition in patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy.

Methods: Atherosclerotic plaques, harvested from 1796 patients who underwent carotid endarterectomy, were immunohistochemically stained for macrophages, smooth muscle cells, calcifications, collagen, microvessels, lipid core size and intraplaque hemorrhage. Cytokines were measured in plaque and plasma and associated with kidney function. Quantitative proteomics were performed on 40 carotid plaques and associated with kidney function.

Results: Decreased kidney function was associated with increased odds ratio of intraplaque hemorrhage, OR 1.15 (95% CI; 1.02-1.29 (p = 0.024)) and increased odds ratio of fibrous-atheromatous plaques (plaques with lipid core presenting more than 10% of total plaque surface) OR 1.21 (95% CI; 1.07-1.38 (p = 0.003)) per decrease of 20 points in eGFR. Proteomics revealed that decreased kidney function was associated with upregulation of the classical pathway of the complement system and the intrinsic pathway of the coagulation system.

Conclusions: Decreased kidney function was associated with plaque hemorrhage but not with inflammatory plaque characteristics. Our data suggests that other pathways than the inflammation-pathway are involved in plaque vulnerability and poor outcome in patients with decreased kidney function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2017.09.025DOI Listing
November 2017

Loss of Y Chromosome in Blood Is Associated With Major Cardiovascular Events During Follow-Up in Men After Carotid Endarterectomy.

Circ Cardiovasc Genet 2017 Aug;10(4):e001544

From the Laboratory of Experimental Cardiology, Division Heart and Lungs (S.H., J.v.S., S.W.v.d.L., A.H.S., S.C.A.d.J., G.P., H.M.d.R.), Department of Medical Genetics, Center of Molecular Medicine (D.K.), Laboratory of Clinical Chemistry and Haematology, Division Laboratories and Pharmacy (G.P.), and Department of Cardiology, Division Heart and Lungs (F.W.A.), University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands; Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester, United Kingdom (J.E., M.T.); Division of Medicine, Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, United Kingdom (M.T.); Durrer Center for Cardiogenetic Research, ICIN-Netherlands Heart Institute, Utrecht (F.W.A.); and Institute of Cardiovascular Science, Faculty of Population Health Sciences, University College London, United Kingdom (F.W.A.).

Background: Recent studies found an immune regulatory role for Y chromosome and a relationship between loss of Y chromosome (LOY) in blood cells and a higher risk of cancer and mortality. Given involvement of immune cells in atherosclerosis, we hypothesized that LOY is associated with the severity of atherosclerotic plaque characteristics and outcome in men undergoing carotid endarterectomy.

Methods And Results: LOY was quantified in blood and plaque from raw intensity genotyping data in men within the Athero-Express biobank study. Plaques were dissected, and the culprit lesions used for histology and the measurement of inflammatory proteins. We tested LOY for association with (inflammatory) atherosclerotic plaque phenotypes and cytokines and assessed the association of LOY with secondary events during 3-year follow-up. Of 366 patients with carotid endarterectomy, 61 exhibited some degree of LOY in blood. LOY was also present in atherosclerotic plaque lesions (n=8/242, 3%). LOY in blood was negatively associated with age (β=-0.03/10 y; =0.07; =1.6×10) but not with cardiovascular disease severity at baseline. LOY in blood was associated with a larger atheroma size (odds ratio, 2.15; 95% confidence interval, 1.06-4.76; =0.04); however, this association was not significant after correction for multiple testing. LOY was independently associated with secondary major cardiovascular events (hazard ratio=2.28; 95% confidence interval, 1.11-4.67; =0.02) in blood when corrected for confounders.

Conclusions: In this hypothesis-generating study, LOY in blood is independently associated with secondary major cardiovascular events in a severely atherosclerotic population. Our data could indicate that LOY affects secondary outcome via other mechanisms than inflammation in the atherosclerotic plaque.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.116.001544DOI Listing
August 2017
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