Objectives. This study sought to characterize leukocyte and platelet activation and adhesion molecule expression after coronary angioplasty. Background. Coronary angioplasty can be regarded as a clinical model of postischemic inflammation because this intervention leads to the release of inflammatory mediators as a result of plaque rupture and endothelial injury. Methods. In 13 patients with stable angina (mean [±SEM] age 56.0 ± 2.4 years, range 44 to 79), blood samples were drawn from the aorta and coronary sinus immediately before and immediately and 15 min after coronary angioplasty. Subsequently, leukocyte and platelet functions were determined. Eleven control patients (57.5 ± 2.3 years, range 52 to 78) underwent coronary arteriography. Results. Coronary arteriography and angioplasty showed no difference in number of leukocytes between the coronary sinus and the aorta. However, 15 min after coronary angioplasty, there was an increase in neutrophil CD18 and CD11b, monocyte CD14 and platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa expression and a decrease in neutrophil L-selectin expression (189 ± 25%, 163 ± 27%, 158 ± 35%, 141 ± 22% and 31 ± 10%, respectively, p <0.01). In the control subjects, no change in adhesion molecule expression occurred. Superoxide production and aggregation in ex vivo-stimulated neutrophils collected from the coronary sinus 15 min after coronary angioplasty was significantly decreased compared with that after coronary arteriography (54 ± 12% vs. 106 ± 30% and 58 ± 11% vs. 102 ± 29%, respectively, p <0.01). The reduced responses to phorbol ester stimulation may be explained by previous in vivo activation of neutrophils during coronary angioplasty. Conclusions. Coronary angioplasty increases neutrophil, monocyte and platelet adhesion molecule expression and induces a significant decrease in ex vivo-stimulated neutrophil superoxide generation and aggregation. These findings suggest that coronary angioplasty triggers cellular activation with an inflammatory response that could contribute to restenosis.
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