Expression of NF-κB, CD68 and CD105 in carotid atherosclerotic plaque
Atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability is associated with cerebrovascular events in patients with carotid atherosclerosis. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of inflammatory factors in carotid artherosclerotic plaques in order to explore its clinical significance in patients with carotid stenosis. Forty three patients with carotid stenosis were divided into symptomatic group (n=24) and asymptomatic group (n=19) based on clinical manifestation. All patients were treated with selective standard carotid endarterectomy (CEA); the carotid atherosclerotic plaques were removed surgically and studied pathologically to investigate the expression of nuclear factor-kappa κ (NF-κB), CD68 and CD105. The plaques were grouped into stable and unstable plaques based on thickness of the fibrous cap and the area of lipid-rich core in the plaques. The proportion of unstable plaques were significantly higher in symptomatic group than in asymptomatic group (70.8% vs. 63.2%, P=0.026). Results of immunohistochemisty staining showed that the expression of NF-κB, CD68 and CD105 in unstable plaques was higher than stable plaques (P<0.001). The association of the higher expression of these factors with instability of carotid plaque needs to be clarified in future study.