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Radonic T.,Interuniversity Cardiology Institute of the The Netherlands | de Witte P.,Interuniversity Cardiology Institute of the The Netherlands | Groenink M.,Interuniversity Cardiology Institute of the The Netherlands | Timmermans J.,Radboud University Nijmegen | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: Marfan syndrome (MFS) is a pleiotropic genetic disorder with major features in cardiovascular, ocular and skeletal systems, associated with large clinical variability. Numerous studies reveal an involvement of TGF-β signaling. However, the contribution of tissue inflammation is not addressed so far. Methodology/Principal Findings: Here we showed that both TGF-β and inflammation are up-regulated in patients with MFS. We analyzed transcriptome-wide gene expression in 55 MFS patients using Affymetrix Human Exon 1.0 ST Array and levels of TGF-β and various cytokines in their plasma. Within our MFS population, increased plasma levels of TGF-β were found especially in MFS patients with aortic root dilatation (124 pg/ml), when compared to MFS patients with normal aorta (10 pg/ml; p = 8×10 -6, 95% CI: 70-159 pg/ml). Interestingly, our microarray data show that increased expression of inflammatory genes was associated with major clinical features within the MFS patients group; namely severity of the aortic root dilatation (HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DRB5 genes; r = 0.56 for both; False Discovery Rate(FDR) = 0%), ocular lens dislocation (RAET1L, CCL19 and HLA-DQB2; Fold Change (FC) = 1.8; 1.4; 1.5, FDR = 0%) and specific skeletal features (HLA-DRB1, HLA-DRB5, GZMK; FC = 8.8, 7.1, 1.3; FDR = 0%). Patients with progressive aortic disease had higher levels of Macrophage Colony Stimulating Factor (M-CSF) in blood. When comparing MFS aortic root vessel wall with non-MFS aortic root, increased numbers of CD4+ T-cells were found in the media (p = 0.02) and increased number of CD8+ T-cells (p = 0.003) in the adventitia of the MFS patients. Conclusion/Significance: In conclusion, our results imply a modifying role of inflammation in MFS. Inflammation might be a novel therapeutic target in these patients. © 2012 Radonic et al.

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