Increased Levels of Soluble P-Selectin in Hypercholesterolemic Patients

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BackgroundHypercholesterolemia is considered a major risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis. Enhanced lipid peroxidation and persistent platelet activation can be observed in vivo in hypercholesterolemic patients and may have pathophysiological implications in the occurrence of cardiovascular events. P-selectin may play an important role in the pathogenesis of multicellular events, including atherosclerosis. We studied the impact of hypercholesterolemia and oxidative stress on plasma levels of P-selectin.Methods and Results-Plasma levels of P-selectin were measured by means of an enzyme immunoassay in 20 hypercholesterolemic patients with no clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease and in 20 sex- and age-matched normocholesterolemic subjects. Hypercholesterolemic patients had higher levels of P-selectin compared with that of control subjects (98 +/- 61 versus 56 +/- 14 ng/mL; P = .001). They also displayed increased von Willebrand Factor (vWF) levels (176 +/- 22 versus 119 +/- 12%; P = .0001). A direct correlation was observed between P-selectin and LDL cholesterol levels (p = .453). Administration of vitamin E (600 mg/d for 2 weeks) to hypercholesterolemic patients significantly reduced plasma P-selectin (40%), and an inverse correlation was observed between vitamin E and P-selectin plasma levels (p = -.446).ConclusionsHypercholesterolemia is associated with elevated plasmatic P-selectin. Altered oxidative processes leading to endothelial dysfunction and persistent platelet activation may contribute to increased soluble P-selectin levels. P-selectin may be proposed as a marker of endothelial dysfunction in hypercholesterolemic patients. (Circulation. 1998;97:953-957.)

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