Objective The S100A8/A9 complex is expressed in a subset of activated neutrophils and macrophages in acute inflammatory lesions associated with various diseases. The purpose of this study was to investigate; (1) whether serum S100A8/A9 levels are increased in patients with unstable angina (UA), and (2) whether S100A8/A9 expression is upregulated in coronary atherosclerotic plaques of patients with UA.
Design Serum S100A8/A9 levels in 39 patients with stable angina (SA) and 53 patients with UA were measured. In addition, we immunohistochemically studied the presence of the S100A8/A9 complex in directional coronary atherectomy specimens. For the identification of the cell types which stain positive for S100A8/A9, immunodouble staining with neutrophils and macrophages was carried out.
Results Serum S100A8/A9 levels were significantly higher in patients with UA than in those with SA (3.25 ± 3.08 µg/ml versus 0.77 ± 0.31 µg/ml, p < 0.05). In patients with UA, the immunodouble staining clearly revealed that the S100A8/A9 complex was expressed in infiltrated neutrophils and occasional macrophages. The S100A8/A9-positive area was significantly higher (18.3 ± 14.2 % versus 1.3 ± 2.4 %, p < 0.0001) in UA than in SA.
Conclusions The S100A8/A9 complex may be involved in the inflammatory process of coronary atherosclerotic plaques in patients with UA.
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