Widespread vascular production of C-reactive protein (CRP) and a relationship between serum CRP, plaque CRP and intimal hypertrophy

A. M. Wilson, J. D. Swan, Hong Ding, Y. Zhang, R. J. Whitbourn, J. Gurry, M. Yii, A. C. Wilson, M. Hill, Christopher Triggle, J. D. Best, A. J. Jenkins

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Evidence of local vascular production and a relationship between serum hsCRP levels and tissue expression of CRP in subjects with vascular disease would support a direct role for CRP in atherosclerosis. Methods and results: Vascular tissue from subjects undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting surgery (CABGS) (n = 28) and carotid endarterectomy (CEA) (n = 25) were studied. Histological samples were assessed for intima-media ratio (IMR) and CRP by immunohistochemistry. CRP mRNA was quantified by real-time polymerase chain reaction. CRP mRNA was seen in all plaques, non-atherosclerotic artery and atrium but no difference in mRNA expression was seen between plaque and non-atherosclerotic tissue. Serum hsCRP correlated with IMR (r = 0.64, p = 0.001) in non-atherosclerotic arteries and with plaque CRP staining (r = 0.57, p = 0.009) independent of age, BMI, lipids, diabetes and blood pressure. In a separate patient series, serum hsCRP was measured in aortic and coronary sinus blood from subjects undergoing CABGS or angiography (n = 54). There was a coronary circulation hsCRP gradient ([mean ± S.E.M.] aortic CRP 4.3 mg/l ± 0.8 versus coronary sinus 5.8 ± 1.2 mg/l, p < 0.05). Conclusions: Widespread vascular CRP mRNA expression, a correlation between serum hsCRP, intimal hypertrophy and plaque CRP, and a coronary hsCRP gradient suggest vascular secretion may contribute to serum CRP levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-181
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes



  • Atherosclerosis
  • C-reactive protein
  • Diabetes
  • Inflammation
  • Intimal hypertrophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this

Wilson, A. M., Swan, J. D., Ding, H., Zhang, Y., Whitbourn, R. J., Gurry, J., Yii, M., Wilson, A. C., Hill, M., Triggle, C., Best, J. D., & Jenkins, A. J. (2007). Widespread vascular production of C-reactive protein (CRP) and a relationship between serum CRP, plaque CRP and intimal hypertrophy. Atherosclerosis, 191(1), 175-181. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2006.03.034