Correlation Between Apelin and Collateral Circulation in Patients with Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion and Moyamoya Disease

Int J Gen Med. 2022 Jan 19:15:699-709. doi: 10.2147/IJGM.S341015. eCollection 2022.


Background and objectives: Moyamoya disease (MMD) is a unique cerebrovascular occlusive disease with abnormal vascular hyperplasia, which causes cerebrovascular accidents like intracranial arteriosclerosis. This study aimed to explore whether plasma apelin levels are related to good collateral circulation in ischemic diseases, which may be higher in patients with MMD than middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion or healthy controls, and may have a connection with the MMD grades.

Methods: We recruited 68 MMD patients and 25 MCA occlusion patients diagnosed by angiography, including 29 patients without cerebrovascular problems as controls. We examined the plasma apelin, serum nitric oxide (NO), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels of all subjects by ELISA kit. We compared the relationship between apelin, NO, and VEGF in the blood of three groups, to explore the relationship. We also investigated whether the plasma apelin-13, apelin-17, and apelin-36 levels correlate with the MMD classification.

Results: Univariate analyses indicated that the MMD group had the higher plasma apelin-13, apelin-17, apelin-36, and serum NO levels than the MCA occlusion and healthy control groups. Binary logistic regression analyses further showed that the apelin-13 level was substantially higher in MMD patients than in MCA occlusion patients. Patients with MMD were significantly younger than patients with MCA occlusion by their mean ages. Linear regression analyses were performed to compare apelin levels between different grades of the patients with MMD. Apelin-13, apelin-17, and apelin-36 levels increased with the gradual increase of compensation grades level independent of NO and VEGF. Apelin-13 and apelin-36 showed a positive effect on the compensation scores in MMD.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that apelin-13 was significantly increased in patients with MMD than patients with MCA occlusion independent of NO and VEGF. Moreover, plasma apelin-13, apelin-17, and apelin-36 levels increase with the grades of MMD.

Keywords: MCA occlusion; MMD; apelin; collateral circulation; middle cerebral artery occlusion; moyamoya disease.

Grants and funding

This work was supported by the Key Research and Development Program Projects of Anhui Province in China (No. 1804h08020250). The funder participated in the data acquisition and contributed to review and editing of the article for our study.