Mediastinal adipose tissue expresses a pathogenic profile of 11 β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase Type 1, glucocorticoid receptor, and CD68 in patients with coronary artery disease

Cardiovasc Pathol. May-Jun 2013;22(3):183-8. doi: 10.1016/j.carpath.2012.07.006. Epub 2012 Sep 3.


Objective: Cardiac visceral fat is accepted to be a new marker for cardiometabolic risk due to its association with increased cardiovascular risk factors. This study aimed to compare the expression of 11 beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (11β-HSD)-1, glucocorticoid receptor (GCR), and CD68 in mediastinal and subcutaneous adipose tissues (MAT, and SAT, respectively) and to assess their possible relationships with the development of coronary artery disease (CAD).

Methods and results: Expression of 11β-HSD-1, GCR, and CD68 mRNA levels were measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction in MAT and SAT tissues of 37 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting due to CAD (CAD group) and 19 non-CAD patients (controls) undergoing heart valve surgery. 11β-HSD-1 in MAT and SAT and GCR expression in MAT and SAT were found to be significantly increased in CAD group when compared with controls (P<.05, respectively). In CAD group, 11β-HSD-1 mRNA levels were found to be significantly higher in MAT compared to SAT (P<.05). CD68 mRNA levels were significantly higher in MAT of CAD group compared to controls (P<.05). Immunohistochemical analyses demonstrated the presence of CD68+ cells and increased 11β-HSD-1 expression in MAT of CAD group compared to SAT.

Conclusion: The present study demonstrate that the mediastinal fat exhibits a pathogenic mRNA profile of 11β-HSD-1, GCR, and CD68. The identification of 11β-HSD-1 expression within the mediastinal fat, along with increased GCR expressions and the presence of CD68+ cells highlight that MAT potentially contributes to the pathogenesis of CAD.

MeSH terms

  • 11-beta-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 1 / biosynthesis*
  • Antigens, CD / biosynthesis*
  • Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic / biosynthesis*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / metabolism*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mediastinum / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid / biosynthesis*


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic
  • CD68 antigen, human
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid
  • 11-beta-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 1