In vivo differences between endothelial transcriptional profiles of coronary and iliac arteries revealed by microarray analysis
Endothelial cells (ECs) from different vascular beds display a remarkable heterogeneity in both structure and function. Phenotypic heterogeneity among arterial ECs is particularly relevant to atherosclerosis since the disease occurs predominantly in major arteries, which vary in their atherosusceptibility. To explore EC heterogeneity between typical atheroprone and atheroresistant arteries, we used DNA microarrays to compare gene expression profiles of freshly harvested porcine coronary (CECs) and iliac artery (IECs) ECs. Statistical analysis revealed 51 genes that were differentially expressed in CECs relative to IECs at a false discovery rate of 5\%. Seventeen of these genes are known to be involved in atherogenesis. Consistent with coronary arteries being more atherosusceptible, almost all putative atherogenic genes were overexpressed in CECs, whereas all atheroprotective genes were downregulated, relative to IECs. A subset of the identified genes was validated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR results suggest that the differences in expression levels between CECs and IECs for the HOXA10 and HOXA9 genes were $>$ 100-fold. Gene ontology (GO) and biological pathway analysis revealed a global expression difference between CECs and IECs. Genes in twelve GO categories, including complement immune activation, immunoglobulin-mediated response, and system development, were significantly upregulated in CECs. CECs also overexpressed genes involved in several inflammatory pathways, including the classical pathway of complement activation and the IGF-1-mediated pathway. The in vivo transcriptional differences between CECs and IECs found in this study may provide new insights into the factors responsible for coronary artery atherosusceptibility.
Zhang, J; Burridge, KA; Friedman, MH
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