Background/aims: Inflammation plays an important role in atherosclerosis and stroke. Acute infections are recognized as trigger factors for ischemic stroke.
Methods: In this whole genome expression profile study of 15 patients and 15 control subjects, we tested the hypothesis that patients with a history of atherothrombotic stroke show enhanced transcription of inflammatory genes in circulating leukocytes. RNA from unstimulated or lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was analyzed with Affymetrix U133A GeneChips using a pooling design. Expression of single genes and functional groups of genes was analyzed by global statistical tests.
Results: A total of 10,197 probe sets showed positive calls. After correction for multiple testing no single probe set revealed significant differences either without or with LPS stimulation. However, significant global expression differences were found upon LPS stimulation for the group of genes that are involved in cell-cell signaling.
Conclusion: LPS stimulation of PBMCs, a condition mimicking bacterial infection, induces differential expression of a group of cell-cell signaling genes in patients with previous atherothrombotic stroke. This finding can be caused by genetic differences between both groups, but acquired risk factors, medication and technical factors may also have contributed to the result.
Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.