VAP-1, Eotaxin3 and MIG as potential atherosclerotic triggers of severe calcified and stenotic human aortic valves: Effects of statins

Thomas Anger*, Falk K. Pohle, Lukas Kandler, Thomas Barthel, Stephan M. Ensminger, Theodor Fischlein, Michael Weyand, Christian Stumpf, Werner G. Daniel, Christoph D. Garlichs

*Corresponding author for this work
23 Citations (Scopus)


Sclerotic calcification of the aortic valve is a common disease in advanced age. Its pathophysiology is unclear. However, pathobiological similarities to atherosclerosis have been shown in several studies. The current study assesses gene profiling of severe calcified stenotic human aortic valves identifying transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, Eotaxin3, vascular adhesion protein-1 (VAP-1) and monokine induced by interferon-γ (MIG) as potential atherosclerotic target genes in severe calcified and stenotic aortic valves, and analyzes the effects of statins on their expression as part of an anti-inflammatory treatment strategy. We collected human severe calcified and stenotic aortic valves with (CSAV+) or without (CSAV-) statin pre-treatment prior to valve replacement and investigated gene profiling by using micro-array technique and real-time PCR for the TGF-β, Eotaxin3, VAP-1 and MIG expression. In comparison to atherosclerotic plaques of carotid arteries, immunohistochemical staining was investigated. Results were contrasted to human normal non-calcified aortic valves as controls (C). As compared to C, TGF-β, Eotaxin3, MIG or VAP-1 was significantly upregulated in CSAV-. In CSAV+ no significant change in gene expression was found for Eotaxin3 and MIG. In contrast, VAP-1 and TGF-β were still upregulated. Corresponding gene expression was confirmed on atherosclerotic plaque formations of carotid arteries. Monocyte/Macrophage infiltration (presence of CD68) on aortic valves (CSAV+, CSAV-, or C) confirmed inflammatory nature of the disease. Our data support further evidence for atherosclerotic inflammation as a trigger for sclerosis in end-stage calcified stenotic aortic valves by showing upregulation of gene expression for TGF-β, VAP-1, MIG and Eotaxin3, which is only partially inhibited by previous statin therapy. Potent benefits of statin treatment on early stages of valve disease are still propagated.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExperimental and Molecular Pathology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)435-442
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 12.2007


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