ACTH- and Cortisol-Associated Neutrophil Modulation in Coronary Artery Disease Patients Undergoing Stent Implantation

Margit Keresztes, Tamás Horváth, Imre Ocsovszki, Imre Földesi, Gyöngyi Serfozo, Krisztina Boda, Imre Ungi

Research output: Article

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background:Psychosocial stress and activation of neutrophil granulocytes are increasingly recognized as major risk factors of coronary artery disease (CAD), but the possible relationship of these two factors in CAD patients is largely unexplored. Activation of neutrophils was reported to be associated with stenting; however, the issue of neutrophil state in connection with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is incompletely understood from the aspect of stress and its hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) background. Thus, we aimed to study cortisol- and ACTH-associated changes in granulocyte activation in patients undergoing PCI.Methodology/Principal Findings:Blood samples of 21 stable angina pectoris (SAP) and 20 acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients were collected directly before (pre-PCI), after (post-PCI) and on the following day of PCI (1d-PCI). Granulocyte surface L-selectin, CD15 and (neutrophil-specific) lactoferrin were analysed by flow cytometry. Plasma cortisol, ACTH, and lactoferrin, IL-6 were also assayed. In both groups, pre- and post-PCI ratios of lactoferrin-bearing neutrophils were relatively high, these percentages decreased substantially next day; similarly, 1d-PCI plasma lactoferrin was about half of the post-PCI value (all p≤0.0001). Post-PCI ACTH was reduced markedly next day, especially in ACS group (SAP: p<0.01, ACS: p≤0.0001). In ACS, elevated pre-PCI cortisol decreased considerably a day after stenting (p<0.01); in pre-PCI samples, cortisol correlated with plasma lactoferrin (r∼0.5, p<0.05). In 1d-PCI samples of both groups, ACTH showed negative associations with the ratio of lactoferrin-bearing neutrophils (SAP: r = -0.601, p<0.005; ACS: r = -0.541, p<0.05) and with plasma lactoferrin (SAP: r = -0.435, p<0.05; ACS: r = -0.609, p<0.005).Conclusions/Significance:Pre- and post-PCI states were associated with increased percentage of activated/degranulated neutrophils indicated by elevated lactoferrin parameters, the 1d-PCI declines of which were associated with plasma ACTH in both groups. The correlation of plasma cortisol with plasma lactoferrin in the extremely stressed ACS before stenting, however, suggests an association of cortisol with neutrophil activation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere71902
JournalPloS one
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - aug. 14 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Cite this