On certain genetic and metabolic risk factors for carotid stenosis and stroke
Abstract: The present study evaluated genetic and metabolic factors influencing the risk of acute cerebrovascular disease (CVD) and internal carotid artery stenosis (ICA stenosis) in a Swedish community. The threonine (T) containing protein of the FABP2 A54T gene polymorphism has a greater affinity for long chain fatty acids (FFAs) than the alanine (A) containing protein. This altered affinity for FFAs has been shown to affect the intestinal absorption of fatty acids and consequently the fatty acid composition of serum lipids, in particularly postprandially. Endothelium derived NO is a potent vasodilator and antiatherogenic agent. Asymmetric dimethyl arginine (ADMA) is an endogenous competitive inhibitor of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). ADMA has been shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerotic disease, and ADMA inhibits eNOS by displacement of L-arginine from the enzyme, which in turn is believed to affect the amount of NO available within the endothelium.The FABP2 A54T gene polymorphism was analyzed in 407 patients with acute CVD and also in a subset of these patients whose carotids had been evaluated with ultrasound. Both the FABP2 polymorphism and a common polymorphism of the eNOS gene, Glu298Asp, were analyzed in a different population consisting of 54 matched pairs of patients with ICA stenosis and controls. ADMA levels were measured in both study populations.We found that the T54 allele was more frequent in patients with transient ischaemic attacks (TIA), and that the TT genotype was more prevalent in young, non-smoking patients with CVD than in controls.Increased concentrations of ADMA were observed in cardio-embolic infarction and TIA, but not significantly in non-cardio-embolic infarction nor in haemorrhagic stroke. In multivariate logistic regression models, CVD increased across quartiles of ADMA in all subgroups, but this association was only significant in the TIA group. A decreased arginine/ADMA ratio, a measure of NO availability was associated with CVD in the entire study population. Patients with severe carotid stenosis had significantly higher ADMA levels than the controls. Allele and genotype frequencies of the FABP2 and eNOS polymorphisms did not differ between patients with ICA stenosis and controls.Our results indicate that ADMA is a strong marker for TIA and severe ICA stenosis, and that relative defiency of arginine, measured as L-arginine/ADMA, is present in acute CVD.We also conclude that a common polymorphism of the FABP2 gene increases susceptibility to ischaemic stroke and TIA.
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