The research is published in the online journal PLOS ONE.
The patients whose blood was sampled for the study were undergoing angioplasty to clear narrow arteries. Researchers tested their blood for the presence of numerous cytokines proteins that signal the presence of inflammation as well as for antibody to an EBV encoded viral protein called dUTPase. This protein is produced early in the process of viral reactivation, and may be present even if signs of the virus itself cannot be detected.
Co-author Marshall Williams, professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics, uses a highly sensitive method to detect these antibodies, and hopes to develop an equally effective technique that could be put to use in clinical laboratories.
Patients who had had acute myocardial infarction a heart attack were the most likely to have the highest measures of two cytokines, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) in their blood compared to patients whose main symptom was chest pain.
Researchers also identified a strong relationship between circulating concentrations of ICAM-1 and detectable antibodies to EBV dUTPase. In fact, the highest values of ICAM-1 were found in patients who had had a heart attack and were positive for the dUTPase protein. A similar trend was seen with IL-6, but the finding could have been attributed to chance.
"This study provides the essential clinical corroboration of this mechanism showing enhanced levels of proinflammatory proteins in the blood of patients with acute coronary events and detectable levels of the EBV-re
|Contact: Philip Binkley|
Ohio State University