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Jan Nilsson


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Activator protein-1 in carotid plaques is related to cerebrovascular symptoms and cholesteryl ester content.


  • Isabel Goncalves
  • Maria Stollenwerk
  • Marie Lindholm
  • Nuno Dias
  • Luís M Pedro
  • José Fernandes E Fernandes
  • Jonatan Moses
  • Gunilla Nordin Fredrikson
  • Jan Nilsson
  • Mikko Ares

Summary, in English

INTRODUCTION: Transcription factor activator protein-1 regulates genes involved in inflammation and repair. The aim of this study was to determine whether transcription factor activator protein-1 activity in carotid plaques is related to symptoms, lipid accumulation, or extracellular matrix composition. METHODS: Twenty-eight atherosclerotic carotid plaques were removed by endarterectomy and divided into two groups based on the presence or absence of ipsilateral symptoms (<1 month ago). Activator protein-1 DNA binding activity was assessed, and subunit (c-Jun, JunD, JunB, c-Fos, FosB, Fra-1, Fra-2) protein levels analyzed by immunoblotting. Distribution of c-Jun in plaques was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: Plaques associated with symptoms had increased activator protein-1 activity and increased expression of c-Jun and JunD, as compared to asymptomatic plaques. Fra-1 and Fra-2 were present in equal amounts in both groups, whereas JunB, FosB, and c-Fos were undetectable. Activator protein-1 activity correlated with cholesteryl ester and elastin in plaques and decreased with age. Activator protein-1 activity did not correlate with collagen, calcified tissue, or proteoglycan content. CONCLUSIONS: Activator protein-1 is increased in plaques associated with symptoms. The correlation between activator protein-1 and cholesteryl esters suggests that high activator protein-1 is a marker of plaque vulnerability. Activator protein-1 expression can also reflect the activation of repair processes.


  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis
  • Department of Clinical Sciences, Malmö
  • EXODIAB: Excellence of Diabetes Research in Sweden
  • EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health

Publishing year







Cardiovascular Pathology



Document type

Journal article




  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems



Research group

  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis


  • ISSN: 1879-1336