Upregulation of fractalkine and its receptor, CX3CR1, is associated with coronary plaque rupture in patients with unstable angina pectoris

Circ J. 2010 Feb;74(2):337-45. doi: 10.1253/circj.cj-09-0484. Epub 2009 Dec 17.


Background: Recent studies suggest that fractalkine (FKN or CX3CL1) and its cognate receptor, CX3CR1, play a role in atherogenesis, so the relationship between coronary plaque rupture, as observed by preintervention optical coherence tomography, and plasma levels of FKN and CX3CR1 was investigated in this study.

Methods and results: The study population consisted of 46 patients with unstable angina pectoris (UAP), 30 patients with stable angina pectoris, and 25 healthy controls. The UAP patients underwent a preintervention optical coherence tomography study, which revealed that the number of patients with and without plaque rupture at the culprit site was 27 (rupture group) and 19 (non-rupture group), respectively. Plasma levels of soluble FKN (sFKN) and CX3CR1 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and flow cytometry, respectively. The plasma levels of sFKN were significantly increased in UAP patients with plaque rupture compared with patients in the other groups. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that CD14(+)CD16(+)CX3CR1(+) monocytes and CD3(+)CX3CR1(+) lymphocytes were independent predictors of the presence of ruptured plaque.

Conclusions: Increases in the FKN level and the number of CX3CR1-expressing mononuclear cells might contribute to coronary plaque rupture.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angina, Unstable / diagnosis
  • Angina, Unstable / immunology*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • CD3 Complex / analysis
  • CX3C Chemokine Receptor 1
  • Chemokine CX3CL1 / blood*
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Artery Disease / complications
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis
  • Coronary Artery Disease / immunology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • Humans
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors / analysis
  • Logistic Models
  • Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Receptors, Chemokine / blood*
  • Receptors, IgG / analysis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Rupture
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Up-Regulation


  • Biomarkers
  • CD3 Complex
  • CX3C Chemokine Receptor 1
  • CX3CL1 protein, human
  • CX3CR1 protein, human
  • Chemokine CX3CL1
  • FCGR3B protein, human
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors
  • Receptors, Chemokine
  • Receptors, IgG