Protective effect of the G-765C COX-2 polymorphism on subclinical atherosclerosis and inflammatory markers in asymptomatic subjects with cardiovascular risk factors
Orbe J, Beloqui O, Rodriguez JA, Belzunce MS, Roncal C, Páramo JA.
Atherosclerosis Research Laboratory, Division of Cardiovascular Science, Center for Applied Medical Research, Pamplona, Spain.
Cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, a key regulatory enzyme in prostanoid synthesis, plays an important role in inflammatory processes. The -765G>C COX-2 polymorphism has been associated with lower promoter activity in vitro and reduced levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in atherosclerotic carriers of the C allele. However, its pathophysiological relevance in vivo has not been fully elucidated.
METHODS AND RESULTS
We assessed the -765G>C polymorphism and COX-2 expression in 220 asymptomatic subjects free of cardiovascular disease, in relation to global vascular risk, carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), and inflammatory markers (fibrinogen, C-reactive protein [CRP], von Willebrand factor [vWF] and interleukin-6 [IL-6]). Genotype frequencies were: CC (7.7%), CG (34.5%), GG (57.7%). Among hypercholesterolemic subjects (n=140), C allele carriers had lower COX-2 expression (p<0.05), reduced carotid IMT (p<0.01) and diminished levels of inflammatory markers CRP, vWF and IL-6 (p<0.05), as compared to GG homozygous subjects. The association between carotid IMT and COX-2 polymorphism remained significant after adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors and inflammatory markers (p=0.008).
In asymptomatic hypercholesterolemic subjects the C allele of -765G>C COX-2 polymorphism was associated with lower COX-2 expression, and reduced subclinical atherosclerosis and systemic inflammation compared with GG homozygous, thus conferring atherosclerosis protection in this cardiovascular risk population.
CITATION Clin Chim Acta. 2006 Jun;368(1-2):138-43