Background and aims: We used a proteomics array to simultaneously measure multiple proteins that have been suggested to be associated with atherosclerosis and related them to plaque prevalence in carotid arteries in a human population-based study.
Methods: In the Prospective Study of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors (PIVUS; n = 931, 50% women, all aged 70 years), the number of carotid arteries with plaques was recorded by ultrasound. Levels of 82 proteins were assessed in plasma by a proximity extension assay (Proseek Multiplex CVD, Olink Bioscience, Uppsala, Sweden) and related to carotid measures in a regression framework.
Results: Following adjustment for multiple testing with Bonferroni correction, seven of the proteins were significantly related to the number of carotid arteries affected by plaques in sex-adjusted models (osteoprotegrin, T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain (TIM)-1, growth/differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15), matrix metalloprotease-12 (MMP-12), renin, tumor necrosis factor ligand superfamily member 14 (TNFSF14) and growth hormone). Of these, renin (odds ratio [OR], 1.30; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.13-1.49 per standard deviation increase), growth hormone (OR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.08-1.43), osteoprotegerin (OR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.05-1.43) and TNFSF14 (OR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.01-1.35) were related to plaque prevalence independently of each other and traditional cardiovascular risk factors.
Conclusion: A novel targeted proteomics approach using the proximity extension technique discovered several new associations of candidate proteins with carotid artery plaque prevalence in a large human sample.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis; Carotid artery; Epidemiology; Proteomics; Ultrasound.
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