Background: Certain immunoglobulins (Ig) are proposed to have protective functions in atherosclerosis. Objectives: We tested whether serum levels of IgG and IgM autoantibodies against malondialdehyde low density lipoprotein (MDA-LDL) are associated with clinical coronary heart disease (CHD) and unfavorable plaque characteristics. Methods: NORDIL was a prospective study investigating adverse cardiovascular outcomes in hypertensive patients. IBIS-3 analyzed lesions in a non-culprit coronary artery with <50% stenosis using radiofrequency intravascular ultrasound (RF-IVUS) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Imaging was repeated after a median of 386 days on rosuvastatin. Associations of antibodies with incident CHD and imaging parameters were assessed in the two sub-studies respectively. Findings: From 10,881 NORDIL patients, 87 had serum sampled at baseline and developed CHD over 4.5 years, matched to 227 controls. Higher titers of IgM anti-MDA-LDL had a protective effect on adverse outcomes, with odds ratio 0.29 (0.11, 0.76; p = 0.012; p = 0.016 for trend). Therefore, the effect was explored at the lesional level in IBIS-3. 143 patients had blood samples and RF-IVUS measurements available, and NIRS was performed in 90 of these. At baseline, IgM anti-MDA-LDL levels had a strong independent inverse relationship with lesional necrotic core volume (p = 0.027) and percentage of plaque occupied by necrotic core (p = 0.011), as well as lipid core burden index (p = 0.024) in the worst 4 mm segment. Interpretation: Our study supports the hypothesis that lower circulating levels of IgM anti-MDA-LDL are associated with clinical CHD development, and for the first time relates these findings to atherosclerotic plaque characteristics that are linked to vulnerability.

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Keywords Immunoglobulins, Intravascular ultrasound, Lipid core, Near-infrared spectroscopy, Necrotic core, Oxidized low density lipoprotein
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Journal EBioMedicine
van den Berg, V.J, Haskard, D.O. (Dorian O.), Fedorowski, A, Hartley, A. (Adam), Kardys, I, Caga-Anan, M. (Mikhail), … Khamis, R.Y. (Ramzi Y.). (2018). IgM anti-malondialdehyde low density lipoprotein antibody levels indicate coronary heart disease and necrotic core characteristics in the Nordic Diltiazem (NORDIL) study and the Integrated Imaging and Biomarker Study 3 (IBIS-3). EBioMedicine. doi:10.1016/j.ebiom.2018.08.023