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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2015 June;56(3):409-15


language: English

Proangiogenic potency of MUC18 in arteriosclerotic disease

Shayesteh-Kheslat R. 1, Kauffels A. 1, Rubie C. 1, Frick V. O. 1, Wagner M. 2, Kollmar O. 3, Schilling M. K. 1

1 Department of General, Visceral, Vascular and Pediatric Surgery, University of Saarland, Homburg/Saar, Germany; 2 Institute of Pathology, University of Saarland, Homburg/Saar, Germany; 3 Department of General and Visceral Surgery, University Medical Center, Göttingen, Germany


AIM: Stenotic peripheral and dilatative arteriosclerotic diseases have different pathomechanism although associations between both diseases are well known. The adhesion molecule MUC18 is a cell membrane glycoprotein also known as the melanoma cell adhesion molecule. As MUC18 has proangiogenic potency in melanoma and prostate cancer this study investigated the role of MUC18 in patients with stenotic or dilatative arteriosclerotic disease as a putative biochemical marker.
METHODS: Using qRT-PCR, Western Blot and immunohistochemistry techniques, the expression of MUC18 in arteriosclerotic arteries from major lower limb amputates (AP, N.=15) as well as specimen from femoral endarterectomies (TEA, N.=20) and in dilatative aortic diseases using abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA, N.=13) was evaluated. Human visceral arteries without macroscopic arteriosclerosis from liver transplants served as controls (AN, N.=19).
RESULTS: MUC18 mRNA and protein expression could be found in AN, AP, TEA and AAA tissues. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that a complete and intact intima was the predominant location of MUC18 expression. Although in stenotic arteriosclerotic disease (AP and TEA) the intima was widely calcified, qRT-PCR analysis showed overexpression compared to normal tissue. Interestingly, MUC18 expression was significantly down-regulated in dilatative compared to stenotic arteriosclerotic disease and normal arteries.
CONCLUSION: In peripheral stenotic arteriosclerotic disease the proangiogenic potency of MUC18 may play a role in angiogenesis of collaterals, whereas in dilatative aortic diseases the induction of collaterals is typically not evident. The results support the hypothesis of a role in angiogenesis of MUC18 in stenotic arteriosclerotic disease.

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