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Jan Nilsson


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Treatment with beta-blockers is associated with lower levels of Lp-PLA2 and suPAR in carotid plaques.


  • Giuseppe Asciutto
  • Andreas Edsfeldt
  • Nuno Dias
  • Jan Nilsson
  • Cornelia Prehn
  • Jerzy Adamski
  • Isabel Goncalves

Summary, in English

OBJECTIVES: To determine whether a long-term treatment with beta-blockers influences the inflammatory activity in carotid artery disease by reducing the carotid plaque levels of lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2), its enzymatic products lysophosphatidylcholine (lysoPCs), and of soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR). MATERIALS AND METHODS: One hundred and thirty-four patients with significant symptomatic or asymptomatic carotid stenosis undergoing surgery were prospectively included and divided into two groups (Group A or B) based on the absence or presence of an on-going long-term oral treatment with beta-blockers. The harvested carotid plaques were analyzed for the levels of lysoPCs using mass spectrometry and Lp-PLA2 and suPAR by Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). RESULTS: Plaques of patients on long-term treatment with beta-blockers revealed lower levels of Lp-PLA2 (Group A 0.752±0.393 ug/g vs. Group B 0.644±0.445 ug/g, P=.049) as well as suPAR (Group A 0.044±0.024 μg/g vs. Group B 0.036±0.025 μg/g, P=.028). Levels of Lp-PLA2 and suPAR were positively correlated (r=.637, P<.0001). Lp-PLA2 and suPAR levels were also correlated (P<.0001) with the three lysoPC species tested (lysoPC 16:0, lysoPC 18:0. lysoPC 18:1). All the above-mentioned findings were confirmed after correction for age, gender, hypertension, coronary artery disease, and statin usage. CONCLUSIONS: The reduced levels of Lp-PLA2 and suPAR in human carotid plaques of subjects on long-term treatment with beta-blockers suggest their possible protective role in plaque inflammation. Our findings support an even more selective Lp-PLA2 and suPAR inhibition as a possible strategy for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.


  • EXODIAB: Excellence of Diabetes Research in Sweden
  • EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health
  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis
  • Vascular Diseases - Clinical Research
  • Cardiovascular Research - Translational Studies

Publishing year







Cardiovascular Pathology





Document type

Journal article




  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems



Research group

  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis
  • Vascular Diseases - Clinical Research
  • Cardiovascular Research - Translational Studies


  • ISSN: 1879-1336