Atherosclerosis pathways are activated in pericoronary adipose tissue of patients with coronary artery disease

Michał Konwerski, Agnieszka Gromadka, Adam Arendarczyk, Marta Koblowska, Roksana Iwanicka-Nowicka, Radosław Wilimski, Paweł Czub, Krzysztof Jerzy Filipiak, Piotr Hendzel, Piotr Zielenkiewicz, Grzegorz Opolski, Aleksandra Gąsecka, Tomasz Mazurek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Perivascular release of inflammatory mediators may accelerate coronary lesion formation and contribute to plaque instability. Accordingly, we compared gene expression in pericoronary adipose tissue (PCAT) in patients with advanced coronary artery disease (CAD) and non-CAD controls. Patients and Methods: PCAT samples were collected during coronary bypass grafting from CAD patients (n = 21) and controls undergoing valve replacement surgery, with CAD excluded by coronary angiography (n = 19). Gene expression was measured by GeneChip™ Human Transcriptome Array 2.0. Obtained list of 1348 transcripts (2.0%) that passed the filter criteria was further analyzed by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software, identifying 735 unique differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Results: Among the CAD patients, 416 (30.9%) transcripts were upregulated, and 932 (69.1%) were downregulated, compared to controls. The top upregulated genes were involved in inflammation and atherosclerosis (chemokines, interleukin-6, selectin E and lowdensity lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) receptor), whereas the downregulated genes were involved in cardiac ischaemia and remodelling, platelet function and mitochondrial function (miR-3671, miR-4524a, multimerin, biglycan, tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI), glucuronidases, miR-548, collagen type I, III, IV). Among the top upstream regulators, we identified molecules that have proinflammatory and atherosclerotic features (High Mobility Group Box 2 (HMGB2), platelet-derived growth platelet (PDGF) and evolutionarily conserved signaling intermediate in Toll pathways (ESCIT)). The activated pathway related to DEGs consisted of molecules with well-established role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis (TFPI, plasminogen activator, plasminogen activator, urokinase receptor (PLAUR), thrombomodulin). Moreover, we showed that 22 of the altered genes form a proatherogenic network. Conclusion: Altered gene expression in PCAT of CAD patients, with genes upregulation and activation of pathway involved in inflammation and atherosclerosis, may be involved in CAD development and progression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5419-5431
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Inflammation Research
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Adipose tissue
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Gene expression
  • Inflammation

Cite this