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Disease Markers
Volume 22 (2006), Issue 3, Pages 133-140

Serum Levels of Platelet Released CD40 Ligand Are Increased in Early Onset Occlusive Carotid Artery Disease

József Balla,1 Mária Tünde Magyar,2 Dániel Bereczki,2 Attila Valikovics,3 Emöke Nagy,1 Erika Barna,1 András Pál,4 György Balla,5 László Csiba,2 and György Blaskó4

1Department of Medicine, University of Debrecen, Medical and Health Science Center, Debrecen, Hungary
2Department of Neurology, University of Debrecen, Medical and Health Science Center, Debrecen, Hungary
3Department of Neurology, County Hospital, Miskolc, Hungary
4Sanofi-Synthelabo Hungary Ltd., Medical Department, Budapest, Hungary
5Department of Neonatology, University of Debrecen, Medical and Health Science Center, Debrecen, Hungary

Received 29 May 2006; Accepted 29 May 2006

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective: Soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L) has been suggested as a key mediator between inflammation and atherosclerosis, and the CD40-CD40L interaction has a role in atherosclerotic lesion progression. We evaluated if platelet released serum sCD40L and sCD40 levels differ between patients with early onset occlusive carotid artery disease and age-matched controls.

Methods: sCD40L and sCD40 levels were measured in serum samples of 60 patients with occlusive carotid artery disease and 30 age-matched controls using ELISA. Degree of stenosis of the internal carotid artery (ICA), and intima-media thickness (IMT) in the common carotid artery were measured by high resolution ultrasound. Values are given as mean ± SD.

Results: Mean age was 50.9 ± 3.5 and 50.1 ± 3.5 years in the patient and control groups. IMT was significantly thicker in patients than in controls (0.89 ± 0.14 vs. 0.78 ±0.12 mm, p = 0.0003). Serum levels of sCD40L were significantly higher (6.9 ± 5 vs. 4.5 ± 3.0 ng/mL, p = 0.038) in patients, whereas sCD40 did not differ significantly between patients and controls (85 ± 56.9 vs. 79.3 ± 18.7 pg/mL, p = 0.34). IMT did not correlate with sCD40L or sCD40 levels (R = −0.03, p = 0.77; and R = 0.109, p = 0.308, respectively).

Conclusions: sCD40L but not sCD40 levels are significantly higher in patients with occlusive carotid artery disease. Platelet derived sCD40L may be a key mediator among inflammation, thrombosis and atherosclerosis.