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Evidence for the role of Epstein Barr Virus infections in the pathogenesis of acute coronary events

Evidence for the role of Epstein Barr Virus infections in the pathogenesis of acute coronary events

Plos one 8(1): E54008

The role of viral infections in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis remains controversial largely due to inconsistent detection of the virus in atherosclerotic lesions. However, viral infections elicit a pro-inflammatory cascade known to be atherogenic and to precipitate acute ischemic events. We have published in vitro data that provide the foundation for a mechanism that reconciles these conflicting observations. To determine the relation between an early viral protein, deoxyuridine triphosphate nucleotidohydrolase (dUTPase), produced following reactivation of Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) to circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and acute coronary events. Blood samples were obtained from 299 patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention for stable angina (SA), unstable angina (UA), or acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Plasma concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines and neutralizing antibody against EBV-encoded dUTPase were compared in the three patient groups. AMI was associated with the highest measures of interleukin-6 (ANOVA p<0.05; 4.6 ± 2.6 pg/mL in patients with AMI vs. 3.2 ± 2.3 pg/mL in SA). ICAM-1 was significantly higher in patients with AMI (ANOVA p<0.05; 304 ± 116 pg/mL in AMI vs. 265 ± 86 pg/mL SA). The highest values of ICAM-1 were found in patients having an AMI and who were antibody positive for dUTPase (ANOVA p=0.008; 369 ± 183 pg/mL in AMI and positive for dUTPase vs. 249 ± 70 pg/mL in SA negative for dUTPase antibody). These clinical data support a model, based on in vitro studies, by which EBV may precipitate AMI even under conditions of low viral load through the pro-inflammatory action of the early protein dUTPase that is produced even during incomplete viral replication. They further support the putative role of viral infections in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and coronary artery events.

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Accession: 053095820

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PMID: 23349778

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