While there is an appreciable understanding of the importance of collagen breakdown in contributing to atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability and rupture, little is known about changes in collagen maturation in the atherosclerotic plaque. This is achieved through the formation of the covalent intermolecular cross-links pyridinoline (Pyd) and deoxypyridinoline (Dpd). In this study we collected carotid endarterectomy specimens from patients and undertook (i) histological assessment of collagen and inflammatory cell distribution and (ii) biochemical analysis of total collagen and cross-link content. Greater collagen deposition, increased presence of CD68 positive cells and an increased Pyd:Dpd ratio (an indicator of lysyl hydroxylase (LH-1) activity) were found in plaque versus normal vascular tissue. These findings are the first measurements of Pyd and Dpd cross-links in normal and atherosclerotic vascular tissue. The observed differences in cross-links in the plaque may adversely affect tensile strength and may have relevance to the mechanisms underlying rupture of vulnerable plaques.
|Number of pages||4|
|Early online date||27 Mar 2010|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2010|