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1.  Low levels of IgM antibodies to oxidized cardiolipin increase and high levels decrease risk of cardiovascular disease among 60-year olds: a prospective study 
Background
Antibodies against cardiolipin (aCL) are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). We here determine the role of antibodies against oxidized CL (aOxCL).
Methods
One third of sixty-year olds from the Stockholm County were screened (2039 men, 2193 women), where 211 incident CVD-cases and 633 age- and sex-matched controls were identified (5–7 year follow-up). Antibodies were determined by ELISA and uptake of oxLDL in macrophages by FACScan.
Results
IgM aOxCL was lower among CVD cases than controls (p=0.024). aOxCL-levels were divided in quartiles with the highest quartile set as the reference group. After adjustment for smoking, BMI, type II diabetes, hypercholesterolaemia and hypertension, an increased risk was determined in the lowest quartile of IgM aOxCL (OR: 1.80, CI: 1.12–2.91, p=0.0159); OR for men in the lowest quartile was 2.46 (CI 1.34–4.53, p=0.0037) for CVD and for stroke: 12.28 (CI: 1.48-101.77, p=0.02). IgG aOxCL levels did not differ between quartiles in CVD-risk. High levels of IgM aOxCL (reaching significance above 86th) and IgG aOxCL (above 95th percentile) were associated with decreased risk of CVD (OR: 0.485, CI: 0.283-0.829; p=0.0082 and OR: 0.23, CI: 0.07-0.69; p=0.0091). aCL were not associated with CVD. oxCL but not CL competed out uptake of OxLDL in macrophages, and aOxLDL recognized oxCL but not CL. In contrast to aCL, aOxCL was not dependent on co-factor Beta2-glycoprotein-I.
Conclusions
aOxCL is a novel risk/protection marker for CVD, with therapeutic implications. OxCL competes with oxLDL for uptake in macrophages and the possibility that aOxCL inhibits such uptake by interfering with same or similar epitopes in oxCL and oxLDL should be further studied.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-13-1
PMCID: PMC3560105  PMID: 23294904
Cardiovascular disease; Cardiolipin; Oxidation; Antibodies
2.  Chromosome 1p13 genetic variants antagonize the risk of myocardial infarction associated with high ApoB serum levels 
Background
Genetic variation at 1p13 modulates serum lipid levels and the risk of coronary heart disease through the regulation of serum lipid levels. Here we investigate if the interaction between genetic variants at 1p13 and serum lipid levels affects the risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI) in the Stockholm Heart Epidemiology Program (SHEEP), a large population based case control study.
Methods
In the present study only non fatal MI cases (n = 1213, men/women: 852/361) and controls (n = 1516, men/women =1054/507) matched by age, sex and residential area, were included. Three SNPs 12740374 G/T, rs599839A/G and rs646776T/C mapping at 1p13 were analysed for association with serum lipid levels and the risk of MI by a weighted least square regression and logistic regression analyses, respectively. To analyse the effect of the interaction between genetic variants and serum lipid levels on the risk of MI, we applied the biological model of interaction that estimates the difference in risk, expressed as OR (95%CI), observed in the presence and in the absence of both exposures. One derived measure is the Synergy index (S) and 95%CI, where S > 1 indicates synergy and S < 1 antagonism between the two interaction terms.
Results
Rs12740374G/T and rs646776T/C were in strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) (r2 = 0.99), therefore only rs599839A/G and rs646776 were included in the analysis. Consistently with published data, presence of the rare genotypes was associated with reduced total-, LDL-cholesterol and ApoB serum levels (all p < 0.05) as compared to the reference genotype, but was not associated with the risk of MI.
However, the increased risk of MI observed in individual exposed to high (≥75th percentile) serum lipid levels was offset in subjects carrying the rare alleles G and C. In particular, the risk of MI associated with high ApoB serum levels OR (95%CI) 2.27 (1.86-2.77) was reduced to 1.76 (1.33-2.34) in the presence of the G allele at rs599839 with an S of 0.47 (0.20-0.90).
Conclusions
These results indicate that an antagonism between ApoB serum levels and genetic variants at 1p13 contributes to reduce the risk of non-fatal MI in the presence of high ApoB serum levels.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-12-90
PMCID: PMC3480949  PMID: 23067240
3.  IgM phosphorylcholine antibodies inhibit cell death and constitute a strong protection marker for atherosclerosis development, particularly in combination with other auto-antibodies against modified LDL 
Results in Immunology  2012;2:13-18.
Background
We have reported that anti-phosphorylcholine (anti-PC) IgM is a protection marker for human cardiovascular disease (CVD) and atherosclerosis. We here investigate the anti-PC autoantibodies in a well-defined cohort with regard to idiotype, atherosclerosis progression and mechanisms for its protective action.
Methods
Serum levels and binding specificities of different anti-PC isotypes were determined in 226 hypertensive individuals enrolled in European Lacidipine Study on Atherosclerosis using ELISA. The mean of the maximum Intima-Media Thicknesses (IMT) in the far walls of common carotids and bifurcations was assessed at the time of inclusion, and four years afterwards. Apoptosis in immune cells was induced with lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) and quantified using the MTT-assay.
Results
Anti-PC IgM, IgA and IgG1 (but not IgG2) was negatively associated with IMT-progression. Combining anti-PC IgM with data on antibodies against oxidized- and malondialdehyde-modified LDL further strengthened this association. At very high levels, anti-PC IgM exhibited a striking negative association with atherosclerosis progression (OR 0.05; CI 0.006–0.40). Analysis of serum samples taken four years apart in study participants affirmed the stability of anti-PC IgM titers over time. Examination of fine specificities revealed that the protective isotypes (IgM, IgA and IgG1) are of the Group I idiotype whereas the non-protective IgG2 subclass was Group II. Anti-PC IgM inhibited LPC-induced cell death of immune cells.
Conclusion
Group I anti-PC antibodies, particularly of the IgM class, are independent protection markers for atherosclerosis progression. One potential mechanism of action is inhibition of LPC-induced cell cytotoxicity.
Highlights
► Anti-PC IgM, IgA and IgG1 (but not IgG2) protects against IMT-progression. ► Combining anti-PC with other antibodies against oxLDL strengthens this association. ► The protective anti-PC isotypes belong to the Group I idiotype. ► Serum levels of anti-PC IgM are stable over time.
doi:10.1016/j.rinim.2012.01.001
PMCID: PMC3862347  PMID: 24371562
Apoptosis; Antibodies; Phosphorylcholine; Carotid intima media thickness; Biomarkers
4.  Increased prevalence of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques and low levels of natural IgM antibodies against phosphorylcholine in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2010;12(6):R214.
Introduction
The risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and atherosclerosis is reported to be increased in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We recently reported a negative association between natural IgM-antibodies against phosphorylcholine (anti-PC) in the general population, high anti-PC levels leading to decreased atherosclerosis development and low levels to increased risk of CVD. Potential mechanisms include anti-inflammatory properties and inhibition of uptake of oxidized low density lipoprotein (LDL) in macrophages. The objective herein was to study atherosclerosis in SLE in detail and in relation to traditional and non-traditional risk factors.
Methods
A total of 114 patients with SLE were compared with 122 age- and sex-matched population-based controls. Common carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), calculated intima-media area (cIMa) and plaque occurrence were determined by B-mode ultrasound as a surrogate measure of atherosclerosis. Plaques were graded according to echogenicity and grouped as 1 to 4, with 1 being echoluscent, and considered most vulnerable. Anti-PC was studied by ELISA.
Results
Hypertension, triglycerides and insulin resistance (determined by homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were increased in SLE (P < 0.01) while smoking, LDL, high density lipoprotein (HDL) did not differ between groups. Low levels of anti-PC IgM (lowest tertile) were more common in SLE patients than in controls (P = 0.0022). IMT and cIMa did not differ significantly between groups. However, plaques were more often found in SLE patients (P = 0.029). Age, LDL and IgM anti-PC (lowest tertile) were independently associated with plaque occurrence in SLE. Further, in the left carotid arteries echoluscent plaques (grade 1) were more prevalent in SLE as compared to controls (P < 0.016).
Conclusions
Plaque occurrence in the carotid arteries is increased in SLE and is independently associated with age, LDL and low anti-PC levels. Vulnerable plaques were more common in SLE. Anti-PC could be a novel risk marker also with a therapeutic potential in SLE.
doi:10.1186/ar3193
PMCID: PMC3046524  PMID: 21092251
5.  The Interaction between Coagulation Factor 2 Receptor and Interleukin 6 Haplotypes Increases the Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Men 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(6):e11300.
The aim of the study was to investigate if the interaction between the coagulation factor 2 receptor (F2R) and the interleukin 6 (IL6) haplotypes modulates the risk of myocardial infarction (MI) in the Stockholm Heart Epidemiology Program (SHEEP). Seven SNPs at the F2R locus and three SNPs at the IL6 locus were genotyped. Haplotypes and haplotype pairs (IL6*F2R) were generated. A logistic regression analysis was performed to analyze the association of the haplotypes and haplotype pairs with the MI risk. Presence of an interaction between the two haplotypes in each haplotype pair was calculated using two different methods: the statistical, on a multiplicative scale, which includes the cross product of the two factors into the logistic regression model; the biological, on an additive scale, which evaluates the relative risk associated with the joint presence of both factors. The ratio between the observed and the predicted effect of the joint exposure, the synergy index (S), indicates the presence of a synergy (S>1) or of an antagonism (S<1). None of the haplotypes within the two loci was associated with the risk of MI. Out of 22 different haplotype pairs, the haplotype pair 17 GGG*ADGTCCT was associated with an increased risk of MI with an OR (95%CI) of 1.58 (1.05–2.41) (p = 0.02) in the crude and an OR of 1.72 (1.11–2.67) (p = 0.01) in the adjusted analysis. We observed the presence of an interaction on a multiplicative scale with an OR (95%CI) of 2.24 (1.27–3.95) (p = 0.005) and a slight interactive effect between the two haplotypes on an additive scale with an OR (95%CI) of 1.56 (1.02–2.37) (p = 0.03) and S of 1.66 (0.89–31). In conclusion, our results support the hypothesis that the interaction between these two functionally related genes may influence the risk of MI and suggest new mechanisms involved in the genetic susceptibility to MI.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011300
PMCID: PMC2891999  PMID: 20585578

Results 1-5 (5)