Protective effect of the G-765C COX-2 polymorphism on subclinical atherosclerosis and inflammatory markers in asymptomatic subjects with cardiovascular risk factors
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