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Changes in Hyaluronan Metabolism and RHAMM Receptor Expression Accompany Formation of Complicated Carotid Lesions and May be Pro-Angiogenic Mediators of Intimal Neovessel Growth.

Krupinski, J and Ethirajan, P and Font, MA and Turu, MM and Gaffney, J and Kumar, P and Slevin, M (2008) Changes in Hyaluronan Metabolism and RHAMM Receptor Expression Accompany Formation of Complicated Carotid Lesions and May be Pro-Angiogenic Mediators of Intimal Neovessel Growth. Biomark Insights, 2. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Previous studies have shown that changes in expression of the glycosaminoglycan, hyaluronan (HA) were associated with erosion in areas of post-mortem coronary artery liable to rupture. Angiogenesis is an important feature of ulcerating haemorrhagic plaques prone to rupture. HA is a glycosaminoglycan known to possess potent angiogenic properties on metabolism to oligosaccharides of HA (o-HA) in the presence of hyaluronidase (HYAL) enzymes. In this study, we have examined HA receptor and HYAL enzyme expression in a series of carotid artery specimens used as vascular transplants and exhibiting various stages of atherosclerotic lesions as determined by anatomo-pathology. Our results demonstrated dramatically increased expression of HYAL-1 in regions of inflammation associated with complicated plaques. Receptor for HA-mediated motility (RHAMM), which is known to be important in transducing angiogenic signals in vascular endothelium, was strongly expressed on intimal blood vessels from complicated lesions but almost absent from other regions including adventitial vessels. Metabolism of HA, together with up-regulation of RHAMM in complicated plaque lesions might be partly responsible for over-production of leaky neovessels and predisposition to plaque rupture.

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