Differential expression of Vitamin D associated genes in the aorta of coronary artery disease patients with and without rheumatoid arthritis
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPLoS ONE. 2018, 13:e0202346 (8), 1-13. 10.1371/journal.pone.0202346
Background Vitamin D has an important role in the immune system, and has been linked to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and coronary artery disease (CAD). The exact mechanisms by which vitamin D is involved in these processes are still unclear. Therefore, we wanted to search for differences in expression of genes involved in the vitamin D receptor (VDR) activation pathway and genes that are known to alter upon vitamin D stimulation, in the aortic adventitia of CAD patients with and without RA. Methods Affymetrix microarray was used to determine gene expression profile in surgical specimens from the adventitia of the ascending aorta of CAD patients with RA (n = 8) and without RA (n = 8) from the Feiring Heart Biopsy Study. Results We identified three vitamin D associated genes that were differentially expressed between RA and non-RA patients: Growth arrest and DNA-damage-inducible protein 45 alpha (GADD45A) (FC = 1.47; p = 0.006), Nuclear Receptor Co-repressor 1 (NCOR1) (FC = 1,21; p = 0.005) and paraoxonases 2 (PON2) (FC = -1.37; p = 0.01). High expression of GADD45A in RA tissues was confirmed by real-time qRT-PCR. GADD45A expression correlated with plasma levels of 1,25(OH)2D3 (rs = 0.69; p = 0.003). Conclusions Microarray analyses revealed higher expression of GADD45A and NCOR1; and lower expression of PON2 in the aortic adventitia of RA than non-RA patients. Further studies are needed to elucidate if and how GADD45A, NCOR1 and PON2 are involved in the development of accelerated atherosclerosis in RA. In theory, some of these factors might have proatherogenic effects whereas others might reflect an underlying vascular pathology promoting atherogenesis (such as vascular stress).