Author + information
- Received April 16, 2007
- Revision received August 6, 2007
- Accepted August 13, 2007
- Published online December 18, 2007.
- Maria Lucia Narducci, MD⁎,⁎ (, )
- Annalisa Grasselli, PhD⁎,¶,
- Luigi Marzio Biasucci, MD, FACC⁎,
- Antonella Farsetti, MD∥,¶,
- Antonino Mulè, MD†,
- Giovanna Liuzzo, MD⁎,
- Giuseppe La Torre, MD§,
- Giampaolo Niccoli, MD⁎,
- Rocco Mongiardo, MD⁎,
- Alfredo Pontecorvi, MD‡ and
- Filippo Crea, MD, FACC⁎
- ↵⁎Reprint requests and correspondence:
Dr. Maria Lucia Narducci, Institute of Cardiology, Largo “A. Gemelli” n.8, 00168 Rome, Italy.
Objectives We evaluated telomerase activity in circulating polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) and in PMN isolated from coronary atherosclerotic plaques by a novel approach.
Background Delayed apoptosis of PMN have been demonstrated in unstable angina (UA). These cells have a finite lifespan with low telomerase activity, a polymerase that extends telomeres, structures essential for cell aging. Reactivation of telomerase has been associated with resistance to apoptosis.
Methods We studied 20 patients with UA and 6 patients with chronic stable angina (SA), undergoing a percutaneous coronary intervention. Circulating PMN were isolated from venous blood and PMN derived from coronary plaque were isolated from washing medium of angioplasty balloons.
Results Telomerase activity was higher in coronary plaque PMN of UA patients than in coronary plaque PMN of SA patients (122.7, range 20.5 to 3,696; and 47.7, range 16 to 212.6, respectively, p = 0.001) and higher than in peripheral PMN of SA patients (122.7, range 20.5 to 3,696 vs. 59, range 16.5 to 132.5, p = 0.001). We found a statistically significant difference between venous and coronary plaque PMN telomerase activity in UA patients (z= −2.875; p = 0.004). Among UA patients, a shorter time interval from symptom onset to coronary PMN sampling was the only independent predictor of high telomerase activity in coronary plaque PMN (p < 0.001, R2= 0.75).
Conclusions In UA patients, telomerase activity is high in coronary plaque PMN, while it is low in peripheral PMN. Telomerase reactivation in resident PMN resulting in a prolonged lifespan might play a key role in the early phases of instability.
This work was partially supported by “Associazione Italiana Ricerca sul Cancro.”
- Received April 16, 2007.
- Revision received August 6, 2007.
- Accepted August 13, 2007.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation