Specific chemokines contribute to vascular inflammation and may be useful biomarkers to detect atherosclerosis. The chemokines CXCL1 and CCL11 have previously been studied in animal or human models of atherosclerosis, while CXCL2 and CCL23 have not. Among 2,454 subjects enrolled in the Dallas Heart Study, a multi-ethnic population-based sample, we measured plasma CCL11, CCL23, CXCL1, and CXCL2, and associated levels with coronary artery calcium (CAC) by computed tomography, and aortic wall thickness, plaque burden, and compliance by magnetic resonance imaging. Elevated chemokine levels were defined as greater than or equal to the median for CCL11 and CCL23 and greater than or equal to the upper detection limit for CXCL1 and CXCL2. Elevated CCL23 (P<0.01) and CXCL1 (P=0.01), but not CCL11 and CXCL2, associated with CAC in univariable analyses. After adjustment for traditional risk factors, elevated CCL23 remained associated with CAC (OR 1.3, 95% CI 1.0-1.7; P=0.02), while the association with CXCL1 was modestly attenuated (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.0-2.1; P=0.06). CCL23 also associated with aortic wall thickness, plaque, and compliance in univariable analyses (P<0.05 for each), but these associations were attenuated after multivariable adjustment. The novel chemotactic protein, CCL23, which has not been previously studied in atherosclerosis, is independently associated with coronary atherosclerosis, suggesting that this chemokine merits further study in animal and human models.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology