Researchers from the Center for Biomedical Research in Network (CIBER) at the University Hospital Virgen de la Victoria in Malaga evaluated the levels of expression of messenger RNA (mRNA) in the epicardial adipose tissue of patients with ischemic heart disease, stratified by the state of diabetes mellitus type 2 and its association with clinical and biochemical variables.
According to the results of the new study, published in the Journal of Translational Medicine, researchers have detected that mRNA expression levels were higher in patients with ischemic heart disease and diabetes. In the latter, scavenger receptors (RS), involved in the deposition of cholesterol in the arterial wall during atherogenesis, were identified as independent risk factors associated with ischemic heart disease, along with glucose levels, insulin and the presence of smoking, hypertension and dyslipidemia.
To achieve these results, researchers from the CIBER for Cardiovascular Diseases (CIBERCV) and the CIBER for Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBEROBN) collaborated. “Oxidized low-density lipoproteins and RS play a very important role in the formation and development of atherosclerotic plaques, but we know very little about their presence in epicardial adipose tissue (EAT),” explains Manuel Jiménez-Navarro, chief of the CIBERCV group and one of the coordinators of the study.
According to Lourdes Garrido, a researcher at CIBEROBN at the Virgen de la Victoria University Hospital, “the levels of genetic expression of scavenger receptors, capable of mediating the immune response, are found in epicardial adipose tissue, with a higher presence in patients with ischemic heart disease and diabetes, so they are identified as a cardiovascular risk factor in the pathology,” says Garrido. Therefore, this work suggests the importance of adipose tissue in coronary atherosclerosis in diabetic patients.
The study included 45 patients with ischemic heart disease who underwent coronary artery bypass surgery and 23 patients with valvular replacement surgery as a control group, divided according to whether they presented diabetes mellitus type 2 or not. The researchers conclude that “our data revealed a predominantly inflammatory profile in epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) in diabetic patients with ischemic heart disease, compared to those without diabetes, showing elevated levels of some types of receptors in the SAD.”
One of the main causes of mortality
Ischemic heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in developed countries and, therefore, there are different strategies to improve its prognosis such as coronary revascularization, bypass surgery and cardiac rehabilitation. The latest research in the field has highlighted the relevant role of epicardial adipose tissue in the pathophysiology of ischemic heart disease.