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      Markers of Endothelial Cell Activation/Injury: CD146 and Thrombomodulin Are Related to Adiponectin in Kidney Allograft Recipients

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          Background: Adiponectin may be used for assessing the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) and may be related to the development of acute coronary syndrome. Decreased adiponectin has been associated with some risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as male sex, obesity and diabetes mellitus. Adiponectin has antiatherogenic properties and attenuates endothelial inflammatory responses. CD146, a novel cell adhesion molecule, is localized at the endothelial junction. In kidney allograft recipients, endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis are almost universal. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate possible relations between adiponectin, CD146, and other markers of endothelial cell injury in 82 stable kidney transplant recipients (mean age 45 years, mean time after transplantation 47 months) with and without CAD. Methods: Adiponectin and markers of endothelial injury: CD146, von Willebrand factor, thrombomodulin, ICAM, CD40L, P-selectin and other hemostatic markers were assessed using commercially available kits. Results: Patients with CAD had evidence of more pronounced endothelial dysfunction, procoagulant state and lower adiponectin than patients without CAD. Adiponectin correlated significantly, in univariate analysis, with CD146 (r = 0.29, p = 0.009), thrombomodulin (r = 0.37, p = 0.001), protein Z (r = –0.25, p = 0.03), BMI (r = –0.26, p = 0.047), serum creatinine (r = 0.26, p = 0.02) and urea (r = 0.38, p = 0.001). CD146 correlated significantly with von Willebrand factor (r = 0.33, p = 0.002), thrombomodulin (r = 0.25, p = 0.025), age (r = 0.34, p = 0.001), platelets (r = –0.33, p = 0.002), serum urea (r = 0.24, p = 0.039), cholesterol (r = 0.24, p = 0.046), ICAM (r = 0.23, p = 0.036), protein C activity (r = –0.26, p = 0.019) and tended to correlate with serum creatinine and time after transplantation. In multivariate linear regression, independent predictors of adiponectin were CD146, thrombomodulin and urea, and of CD146 was mainly age of patients. Conclusions: Endothelial dysfunction and procoagulant state are more pronounced in kidney transplant recipients with CAD, particularly in those with lower GFR. In kidney transplant recipients, markers of endothelial cell injury are significantly increased relative to healthy volunteers. Elevation of adiponectin may be a defense mechanism against endothelial damage, reflected by elevated CD146 and thrombomodulin.

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          Most cited references 24

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          Enhanced expression of PAI-1 in visceral fat: possible contributor to vascular disease in obesity.

          The presence of obesity increases the risk of thrombotic vascular diseases. The role of fat accumulation and its effect on plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) levels was investigated in humans and animals. Plasma PAI-1 levels were closely correlated with visceral fat area but not with subcutaneous fat area in human subjects. PAI-1 mRNA was detected in both types of fat tissue in obese rats but increased only in visceral fat during the development of obesity. These data suggest that an enhanced expression of the PAI-1 gene in visceral fat may increase plasma levels and may have a role in the development of vascular disease in visceral obesity.
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            The protein C pathway.

             Charles Esmon (2003)
            The protein C anticoagulant pathway serves as a major system for controlling thrombosis, limiting inflammatory responses, and potentially decreasing endothelial cell apoptosis in response to inflammatory cytokines and ischemia. The essential components of the pathway involve thrombin, thrombomodulin, the endothelial cell protein C receptor (EPCR), protein C, and protein S. Thrombomodulin binds thrombin, directly inhibiting its clotting and cell activation potential while at the same time augmenting protein C (and thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor [TAFI]) activation. Furthermore, thrombin bound to thrombomodulin is inactivated by plasma protease inhibitors > 20 times faster than free thrombin, resulting in increased clearance of thrombin from the circulation. The inhibited thrombin rapidly dissociates from thrombomodulin, regenerating the anticoagulant surface. Thrombomodulin also has direct anti-inflammatory activity, minimizing cytokine formation in the endothelium and decreasing leukocyte-endothelial cell adhesion. EPCR augments protein C activation approximately 20-fold in vivo by binding protein C and presenting it to the thrombin-thrombomodulin activation complex. Activated protein C (APC) retains its ability to bind EPCR, and this complex appears to be involved in some of the cellular signaling mechanisms that down-regulate inflammatory cytokine formation (tumor necrosis factor, interleukin-6). Once APC dissociates from EPCR, it binds to protein S on appropriate cell surfaces where it inactivates factors Va and VIIIa, thereby inhibiting further thrombin generation. Clinical studies reveal that deficiencies of protein C lead to microvascular thrombosis (purpura fulminans). During severe sepsis, a combination of protein C consumption, protein S inactivation, and reduction in activity of the activation complex by oxidation, cytokine-mediated down-regulation, and proteolytic release of the activation components sets in motion conditions that would favor an acquired defect in the protein C pathway, which in turn favors microvascular thrombosis, increased leukocyte adhesion, and increased cytokine formation. APC has been shown clinically to protect patients with severe sepsis. Protein C and thrombomodulin are in early stage clinical trials for this disease, and each has distinct potential advantages and disadvantages relative to APC.
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              An adipocyte-derived plasma protein, adiponectin, adheres to injured vascular walls.

              Adipose tissue secretes a variety of proteins into the bloodstream. We have previously reported a novel cDNA, apM1 (adipose most abundant gene transcript 1), which is specifically and abundantly expressed in adipose tissue [1]. Primary structure analysis predicted that the apM1 gene product possesses significant homology to collagens VIII, X and complement factor C1q, and we named it adiponectin. In the current study, we analyzed characteristics of adiponectin in vitro and in vivo. Adiponectin protein was proved to be secreted into the medium when the cDNA was transfected to COS cells. Anti-adiponectin cross-reactivities were abundantly detected in the human plasma. In solid-phase binding assays, adiponectin specifically bound to collagen types I, III and V, which are present in vascular intima. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that adiponectin was detected in the walls of the catheter-injured vessels but not in the intact vascular walls. These data suggest that adiponectin is a plasma protein produced by adipose tissue and accumulates in vascular walls when the endothelial barrier is injured.

                Author and article information

                Am J Nephrol
                American Journal of Nephrology
                S. Karger AG
                June 2005
                01 July 2005
                : 25
                : 3
                : 203-210
                Departments of aNephrology and Transplantology, and bEndocrinological Gynecology, Medical University, Białystok, Poland
                85827 Am J Nephrol 2005;25:203–210
                © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Tables: 6, References: 35, Pages: 8
                Self URI (application/pdf):
                Original Report: Patient-Oriented, Translational Research


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