Identification of Endothelial Proteins in Plasma Associated With Cardiovascular Risk Factors


Endothelial cell (EC) dysfunction is a well-established response to cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as smoking and obesity. Risk factor exposure can modify EC signaling and behavior, leading to arterial and venous disease development. The aim was to identify biomarker panels for the assessment of EC dysfunction, which could be useful for risk stratification or to monitor treatment response.

Affinity proteomics were used to identify EC proteins circulating in plasma that were associated with cardiovascular disease risk factor exposure. Two hundred sixteen proteins, which previously were predicted to be EC-enriched across vascular beds, were measured in plasma samples (N=1005) from the population-based SCAPIS (Swedish Cardiopulmonary Bioimage Study) pilot. Thirty-eight of these proteins were associated with body mass index, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, smoking, hypertension, or diabetes. Sex-specific analysis revealed that associations predominantly observed in female- or male-only samples were most frequently with the risk factors body mass index, or total cholesterol and smoking, respectively. The article shows the relationship between individual cardiovascular disease risk, calculated with the Framingham risk score, and the corresponding biomarker profiles.

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