The chemokine and adhesion molecule fractalkine and its receptor CX(3)CR1 have emerged as interesting regulators in inflammation and related atherosclerosis. The pro-inflammatory status may be counteracted by appropriate treatment, such as in rehabilitation. We compared serum fractalkine concentrations of 46 patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) and 47 insulin-dependent diabetic patients (IDDM) following rehabilitation with those of 50 control subjects. Following rehabilitation serum fractalkine levels (477 + or - 225 pg/mL) in CHD patients were similar to those in control subjects (572 + or - 205 pg/mL; P = 0.303), whereas fractalkine levels were lower in IDDM patients (430 + or - 256 pg/mL; P = 0.042). No significant difference between CHD and IDDM patients was present (P = 0.319). Postprandial hyperlipemia may influence inflammation; thus, we investigated fractalkine levels four and eight hours after inducing postprandial hyperlipemia. However, we did not find any significant alterations in CHD and diabetic patients, whereas the fractalkine levels in controls were reduced. In vitro, lipofundin used as a hyperlipemic stimulus was added to vessel wall cells and reduced fractalkine levels. Low fractalkine levels in patients attending rehabilitation indicate a beneficial effect of the rehabilitation procedure on innate inflammatory pathways, such as the chemokine and adhesion molecule fractalkine.
Keywords: atherosclerosis; coronary heart disease; cytokines; diabetes; fractalkine; inflammation; rehabilitation.