Aims: To test the hypothesis that the pattern of gene expression in circulating leukocytes may differ between vascular compartments, depending on the presence or absence of atherosclerosis, we evaluated the regional vascular differences in patterns of inflammatory cell activation. Methods: Patients (n = 8) with angiographically-established coronary artery disease (CAD+) and 8 without (CAD-) had blood samples taken from a peripheral vein as well as from left and right coronary arteries. Samples were pooled resulting in 4 CAD+ samples versus 4 CAD- samples and hybridised to a Whole Human Genome Microarray 4. ×. 44. K. Results: CAD- patients had a similar gene expression profile across the different sites. CAD+ patients had statistically significant different gene expression patterns in venous vs. right and left coronary artery compartments. The expression pattern observed in the right coronary was where the most differences in gene expression were observed in CAD+ vs. CAD- patients. Overall, 1964 genes were differentially expressed between CAD+ and CAD-Of these, 1052 were less expressed in CAD+ and 912 were more expressed in CAD+. Up to 12 of the 20 most differentially expressed genes appeared to reflect different phases of the atherosclerosis process: endothelial dysfunction, lipid accumulation, and smooth muscle cell proliferation. Conclusions: Gene expression of circulating leukocytes differentiates CAD+ from CAD- patients. Gene expression is significantly different between coronary arteries and the systemic circulation in CAD+ patients, but not in CAD- patients. Gene expression is significantly different between CAD+ and CAD- subjects, and appears to reflect the atherosclerosis process. These intra-individual differences may be an additional feature of established coronary artery disease.

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Keywords Array, Atherosclerosis, Coronary arteries, RNA expression
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Journal Clinica e Investigacion en Arteriosclerosis
Ribalta, J, Alipour, A, Sánchez-Cabo, F, Vallvé, J.-C, Njo, T, Álvarez, R, … Castro Cabezas, M. (2017). Differential leucocyte RNA expression in the coronary arteries compared to systemic circulation discriminates between patients with and those without coronary artery disease. Clinica e Investigacion en Arteriosclerosis, 29(2), 60–66. doi:10.1016/j.arteri.2016.11.003