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A comparative study of neovascularisation in atherosclerotic plaques using CD31, CD105 and TGF beta 1

Li, Chenggang and Mollahan, Pamela and Baguneid, Mohamed S. and McMahon, Ray F. and Kumar, Patricia and Walker, Michael G. and Freemont, Anthony J. and Kumar, Shant (2006) A comparative study of neovascularisation in atherosclerotic plaques using CD31, CD105 and TGF beta 1. ISSN 1423-0291

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: This study aims to identify plaque neovascularisation using antibodies to CD31, CD105 and TGFbeta1, and to compare their patterns of expression. METHODS: Tissue expression of CD31, CD105 and TGFbeta1 was examined immunohistologically in atherosclerotic plaques from 53 patients who had undergone carotid endarterectomy and in 10 controls. RESULTS: CD31 was observed in a proportion of the microvessels within atheroma. The expression of CD105 was barely visible in normal arteries, but was markedly enhanced in atherosclerotic plaques. The vast majority of the microvessels in atheroma were positive for CD105 with pronounced expression around the periphery of the lipid core. In consecutive sections, microvessels showing negative staining for CD31 were positive for CD105. Although TGFbeta1 was seen in the thickened intima, it was more strongly expressed in well-formed fibrous plaques. Consecutive sections showed that some microvessels were stained by both CD105 and TGFbeta1, but in certain areas microvessels were exclusively CD105 positive. CONCLUSIONS: These observations highlight the distinctive expression patterns of CD31, CD105 and TGFbeta1, suggesting their specific roles in the development of atherosclerotic plaques. CD105 is almost universally expressed in microvessels within the atheroma and is therefore a better vascular marker than CD31 and TGFbeta1for assessing neovascularisation in atherosclerotic plaques.

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