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International Angiology 2008 October;27(5):413-8


language: English

Stromelysin gene promoter polymorphism and common carotid geometry in diabetic subjects

Irace C. 1, Cortese C. 2, Migale M. 1, Liberatoscioli L. 2, Mannucci L. 2, Federici G. 3, Gnasso A. 1

1 G. Salvatore Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Magna Græcia University, Catanzaro, Italy 2 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy 3 Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy


Aim. Stromelysin (MMP3), through its action on collagen and other matrix metalloproteinases, influences arterial wall remodeling. In healthy subjects, the 5A/6A polymorphism located in the promoter of the MMP3 gene is associated with common carotid remodeling, 6A/6A subjects having increased arterial diameter, wall thickness (intima-media thickness, IMT) and decreased wall shear stress (WSS). In the present study, we have investigated the influence of the 5A/6A polymorphism on common carotid remodeling in subjects with diabetes mellitus.
Methods. Diabetic subjects (N.=136) and age-matched healthy male controls (N.=101) have been studied. Common carotid diameter, IMT and flow velocity have been measured by echo-Doppler. Blood viscosity has been measured by a cone/plate viscometer. WSS has been calculated.
Results. Diabetic patients had increased common carotid diameter, IMT, and decreased flow velocity and WSS (all P<0.05), compared with controls. In controls, subjects homozygous for the 6A allele had increased diameter, IMT and decreased WSS. In diabetics, no difference was observed in vascular parameters among the three genotypes.
Conclusion. The 5A/6A polymorphism of the MMP3 gene influences arterial remodeling of the common carotid artery in healthy subjects, but not in patients with diabetes mellitus. Therefore, the significance of the 5A/6A polymorphism as a marker of risk in this high cardiovascular risk population seems to be somehow blunted.

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