Currently there are no reliable biological markers for ischemic stroke. The novel chemokine CXCL16 is known to be involved in the development of atherosclerosis. Nevertheless, the real role of CXCL16 in atherosclerotic disorders remains uncertain. The goal of our study was to investigate the associations between serum-soluble CXCL16 level and atherosclerotic ischemic stroke, including large artery atherosclerosis (LAA) and small artery occlusion (SAO) subtypes, and to explore whether elevation in CXCL16 levels is correlated with the severity of large arterial stenosis.
Material and methods
The study recruited 227 subjects, including 74 controls and 153 consecutive patients with acute ischemic stroke from atherosclerosis of the carotid artery. The etiology of the acute ischemic strokes was classified into LAA (n = 86) subtype and SAO (n = 67) subtype according to the TOAST criteria, and the severity of carotid artery stenosis was assessed by the NASCET criteria. Serum-soluble CXCL16 concentration was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Serum CXCL16 concentrations were significantly increased in both LAA (2.36 ng/ml) and SAO subtypes (2.13 ng/ml) when compared to that of the controls (2.04 ng/ml, p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively), and it was significantly elevated in LAA subtype than in SAO subtype (p < 0.05). However, significant differences in CXCL16 levels between the high-grade stenosis group (2.36 ng/ml) and moderate-grade stenosis group (2.24 ng/ml) of LAA subtype were not found (p > 0.05). A correlation of serum levels of CXCL16 with serum levels of hs-CRP, fibrinogen and lipid parameters was not observed (p > 0.05).
Increased serum level of soluble CXCL16 was independently associated with atherosclerotic ischemic stroke, particularly LAA subtype.