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Acute coronary syndromes
Increased serum levels and expression of S100A8/A9 complex in infiltrated neutrophils in atherosclerotic plaque of unstable angina
  1. S Miyamoto1,
  2. M Ueda2,
  3. M Ikemoto3,
  4. T Naruko4,
  5. A Itoh4,
  6. S Tamaki5,
  7. R Nohara1,
  8. F Terasaki6,
  9. S Sasayama7,
  10. M Fujita3
  1. 1
    Division of Cardiology, Kitano Hospital, Tadukekofukai Medical Research Institute, Osaka, Japan
  2. 2
    Department of Pathology, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan
  3. 3
    Human Health Sciences, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan
  4. 4
    Department of Cardiology, Osaka City General Hospital, Osaka, Japan
  5. 5
    Division of Cardiology, Takeda Hospital, Kyoto, Japan
  6. 6
    Third Department of Internal Medicine, Osaka Medical College, Takatsuki, Japan
  7. 7
    Heart Bio-Mechanics Centre, Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan
  1. Professor M Fujita, Human Health Sciences, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, 53 Kawaharacho, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606–8507, Japan; mfujita{at}


Background: The S100A8/A9 complex is expressed in a subset of activated neutrophils and macrophages in acute inflammatory lesions associated with various diseases.

Objective: To investigate (a) whether serum S100A8/A9 levels are increased in patients with unstable angina (UA); and (b) 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, the presence of the S100A8/A9 complex in directional coronary atherectomy specimens was studied immunohistochemically. Cell types which stain positive for S100A8/A9 were identified by immunodouble staining with neutrophils and macrophages.

Results: Mean (SD) serum S100A8/A9 levels were significantly higher in patients with UA than in those with SA (3.25 (3.08) μg/ml vs 0.77 (0.31) μg/ml, p<0.05). In patients with UA, immunodouble staining clearly showed that the S100A8/A9 complex was expressed in infiltrated neutrophils and occasional macrophages. The S100A8/A9-positive area was significantly higher in UA than in SA (mean (SD) 18.3 (14.2)% vs 1.3 (2.4)%, respectively, p<0.001).

Conclusions: The S100A8/A9 complex may be involved in the inflammatory process of coronary atherosclerotic plaques in patients with UA.

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  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • Ethics approval: Study protocol approved by the institutional review committees of Takeda Hospital and Osaka City General Hospital.

  • ▸ An additional figure is published online only at