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      Plasma α1-antitrypsin: A Neglected Predictor of Angiographic Severity in Patients with Stable Angina Pectoris

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          As an acute phase protein, α1-antitrypsin (AAT) has been extensively studied in acute coronary syndrome, but it is unclear whether a relationship exists between AAT and stable angina pectoris (SAP). The purpose of the present study was to investigate the association between AAT plasma levels and SAP.


          Overall, 103 SAP patients diagnosed by coronary angiography and clinical manifestations and 118 control subjects matched for age and gender were enrolled in this case-control study. Plasma levels of AAT, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), lipid profiles and other clinical parameters were assayed for all participants. The severity of coronary lesions was evaluated based on the Gensini score (GS) assessed by coronary angiography.


          Positively correlated with the GS ( r = 0.564, P < 0.001), the plasma AAT level in the SAP group was significantly higher than that in the control group (142.08 ± 19.61 mg/dl vs. 125.50 ± 19.67 mg/dl, P < 0.001). The plasma AAT level was an independent predictor for both SAP (odds ratio [ OR] = 1.037, 95% confidence interval [ CI]: 1.020–1.054, P < 0.001) and a high GS ( OR = 1.087, 95% CI: 1.051–1.124, P < 0.001) in a multivariate logistic regression model. In the receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, plasma AAT level was found to have a larger area under the curve (AUC) for predicting a high GS (AUC = 0.858, 95% CI: 0.788–0.929, P < 0.001) than that of hsCRP (AUC = 0.665, 95% CI: 0.557–0.773, P = 0.006; Z = 2.9363, P < 0.001), with an optimal cut-off value of 137.85 mg/dl (sensitivity: 94.3%, specificity: 68.2%).


          Plasma AAT levels correlate with both the presence and severity of coronary stenosis in patients with SAP, suggesting that it could be a potential predictive marker of severe stenosis in SAP patients.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties of α1-antitrypsin without inhibition of elastase.

          The rationale of α1-antitrypsin (AAT) augmentation therapy to treat progressive emphysema in AAT-deficient patients is based on inhibition of neutrophil elastase; however, the benefit of this treatment remains unclear. Here we show that clinical grade AAT (with elastase inhibitory activity) and a recombinant form of AAT (rAAT) without anti-elastase activity reduces lung inflammatory responses to LPS in elastase-deficient mice. WT and elastase-deficient mice treated with either native AAT or rAAT exhibited significant reductions in infiltrating neutrophils (23% and 68%), lavage fluid levels of TNF-α (70% and 80%), and the neutrophil chemokine KC (CXCL1) (64% and 90%), respectively. Lung parenchyma TNF-α, DNA damage-inducible transcript 3 and X-box binding protein-1 mRNA levels were reduced in both mouse strains treated with AAT; significantly lower levels of these genes, as well as IL-1β gene expression, were observed in lungs of AAT-deficient patients treated with AAT therapy compared with untreated patients. In vitro, LPS-induced cytokines from WT and elastase-deficient mouse neutrophils, as well as neutrophils of healthy humans, were similarly reduced by AAT or rAAT; human neutrophils adhering to endothelial cells were decreased by 60-80% (P < 0.001) with either AAT or rAAT. In mouse pancreatic islet macrophages, LPS-induced surface expression of MHC II, Toll-like receptor-2 and -4 were markedly lower (80%, P < 0.001) when exposed to either AAT or rAAT. Consistently, in vivo and in vitro, rAAT reduced inflammatory responses at concentrations 40- to 100-fold lower than native plasma-derived AAT. These data provide evidence that the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties of AAT can be independent of elastase inhibition.
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            Alpha-1-antitrypsin is an endogenous inhibitor of proinflammatory cytokine production in whole blood.

            Several observations suggest endogenous suppressors of inflammatory mediators are present in human blood. alpha-1-Antitrypsin (AAT) is the most abundant serine protease inhibitor in blood, and AAT possesses anti-inflammatory activity in vitro and in vivo. Here, we show that in vitro stimulation of whole blood from persons with a genetic AAT deficiency resulted in enhanced cytokine production compared with blood from healthy subjects. Using whole blood from healthy subjects, dilution of blood with RPMI tissue-culture medium, followed by incubation for 18 h, increased spontaneous production of IL-8, TNF-alpha, IL-1 beta, and IL-1R antagonist (IL-1Ra) significantly, compared with undiluted blood. Dilution-induced cytokine production suggested the presence of one or more circulating inhibitors of cytokine synthesis present in blood. Serially diluting blood with tissue-culture medium in the presence of cytokine stimulation with heat-killed Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epi) resulted in 1.2- to 55-fold increases in cytokine production compared with S. epi stimulation alone. Diluting blood with autologous plasma did not increase the production of IL-8, TNF-alpha, IL-1 beta, or IL-1Ra, suggesting that the endogenous, inhibitory activity of blood resided in plasma. In whole blood, diluted and stimulated with S. epi, exogenous AAT inhibited IL-8, IL-6, TNF-alpha, and IL-1 beta significantly but did not suppress induction of the anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-1Ra and IL-10. These ex vivo and in vitro observations suggest that endogenous AAT in blood contributes to the suppression of proinflammatory cytokine synthesis.
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              Alpha1-antitrypsin suppresses TNF-alpha and MMP-12 production by cigarette smoke-stimulated macrophages.

              We have previously observed that mice exposed to cigarette smoke and treated with exogenous alpha(1)-antitrypsin (A1AT) were protected against the development of emphysema and against smoke-induced increases in serum TNF-alpha. To investigate possible mechanisms behind this latter observation, we cultured alveolar macrophages lavaged from C57 mice. Smoke-conditioned medium caused alveolar macrophages to increase secretion of macrophage metalloelastase (MMP-12) and TNF-alpha, and this effect was suppressed in a dose-response fashion by addition of A1AT. Macrophages from animals exposed to smoke in vivo and then lavaged also failed to increase MMP-12 and TNF-alpha secretion when the animals were pretreated with A1AT. Because proteinase activated receptor-1 (PAR-1) is known to control MMP-12 release, macrophages were treated with the G protein-coupled receptor inhibitor, pertussis toxin; this suppressed both TNF-alpha and MMP-12 release, while a PAR-1 agonist (TRAP) increased TNF-alpha and MMP-12 release. Smoke-conditioned medium caused increased release of the prothrombin activator, tissue factor, from macrophages. Hirudin, a thrombin inhibitor, and aprotinin, an inhibitor of plasmin, reduced smoke-mediated TNF-alpha and MMP-12 release, and A1AT inhibited both plasmin and thrombin activity in a cell-free functional assay. These findings extend our previous suggestion that TNF-alpha production by alveolar macrophages is related to MMP-12 secretion. They also suggest that A1AT can inhibit thrombin and plasmin in blood constituents that leak into the lung after smoke exposure, thereby preventing PAR-1 activation and MMP-12/TNF-alpha release, and decreasing smoke-mediated inflammatory cell influx.

                Author and article information

                Chin Med J (Engl)
                Chin. Med. J
                Chinese Medical Journal
                Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
                20 March 2015
                : 128
                : 6
                : 755-761
                Key Laboratory of Clinical Trial Research in Cardiovascular Drugs, Ministry of Health, State Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Diseases, Fuwai Hospital, National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100037, China
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Dr. Yi-Shi Li, Key Laboratory of Clinical Trial Research in Cardiovascular Drugs, Ministry of Health, State Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Diseases, Fuwai Hospital, National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100037, China E-mail: lchyl_fuwai@
                Copyright: © 2015 Chinese Medical Journal

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

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