Markstad H, Edsfeldt A, Yao Mattison I, Bengtsson E, Singh P, Cavalera M, Asciutto G, Björkbacka H, Fredrikson GN, Dias N, Volkov P, Orho-Melander M, Nilsson J, Engström G, Gonçalves I
J Am Heart Assoc 8 (4) e009874 [2019-02-19; online 2019-02-13]
Background When the lectinlike oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox LDL) receptor-1 ( LOX -1), a scavenger receptor for ox LDL , binds ox LDL , processes leading to endothelial dysfunction and inflammation are promoted. We aimed to study release mechanisms of LOX -1 and how circulating levels of soluble LOX -1 ( sLOX -1) relate to plaque inflammation and future risk for ischemic stroke. Methods and Results Endothelial cells and leukocytes were used to study release of sLOX -1. Plasma levels of sLOX -1 were determined in 4703 participants in the Malmö Diet and Cancer cohort. Incidence of ischemic stroke was monitored. For 202 patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy, levels of sLOX -1 were analyzed in plasma and plaque homogenates and related to plaque inflammation factors. Endothelial cells released sLOX -1 when exposed to ox LDL . A total of 257 subjects experienced stroke during a mean follow-up of 16.5 years. Subjects in the highest tertile of sLOX -1 had a stroke hazard ratio of 1.75 (95% CI, 1.28-2.39) compared with those in the lowest tertile after adjusting for age and sex. The patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy had a significant association between plasma sLOX -1 and the plaque content of sLOX -1 ( r=0.209, P=0.004). Plaques with high levels of sLOX -1 had more ox LDL , proinflammatory cytokines, and matrix metalloproteinases. Conclusions Our findings demonstrate that ox LDL induces the release of sLOX -1 from endothelial cells and that circulating levels of sLOX -1 correlate with carotid plaque inflammation and risk for ischemic stroke. These observations provide clinical support to experimental studies implicating LOX -1 in atherosclerosis and its possible role as target for cardiovascular intervention.