It has been previously reported that serum levels of 70-kDa heat shock protein (Hsp70) are elevated in peripheral artery disease. The aim of the present study was to examine whether increased serum Hsp70 levels are related to the extent of arterial calcification and standard laboratory parameters of patients with peripheral artery disease, as well as to markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein), atherosclerosis (homocys-teine), and calcification (fetuin-a). One hundred eighty chronic atherosclerotic patients with significant carotid stenosis and/or lower extremity vascular disease were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. Systemic atherosclerosis and calcification was assessed by ultrasound (carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), presence of calcification at the abdominal aorta, carotid and femoral bifurcations, and aortic and mitral cardiac valves). Standard serum markers of inflammation, diabetes, renal function, ankle-brachial indexes, and traditional risk factors for atherosclerosis were noted. Serum Hsp70 levels were measured with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Standard laboratory parameters (clinical chemistry), C-reactive protein (CRP), and homocysteine levels were determined by an autoanalyzer using the manufacturer's kits. Fetuin-a levels were measured by radial immunodiffusion. Patients' median age was 64 (57-71) years, 69% were men, and 34.5% had diabetes. Serum heat shock protein 70 levels were significantly higher in patients with more severe arterial calcification (p<0.02) and showed significant positive correlations with serum bilirubin (r=0.23, p=0.002) and homocysteine levels (r=0.18, p=0.02). Serum Hsp70 did not correlate with body mass index, IMT, CRP, or fetuin-a levels in this cohort. Logistic regression analysis confirmed the association between sHsp70 and calcification score (OR, 2.189; CI, 1.156-4.144, p=0.016) and this correlation remained significant (OR, 2.264; CI, 1.021-5.020, p=0.044) after the adjustment for age, sex, eGFR, smoking, CRP, and homocysteine levels. Our data show that serum Hsp70 levels correlate with the severity of atherosclerosis in patients with carotid artery disease and chronic lower limb ischemia. These data support a putative role for plasma Hsp70 in the development of arterial calcification. Nevertheless, further studies are required to investigate the usefulness of circulating Hsp70 level as a marker of atherosclerotic calcification.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology