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Relationship between serum levels of triglycerides and vascular inflammation, measured as COX-2, in arteries from diabetic patients: a translational study

Antonio Gordillo-Moscoso1, Emilio Ruiz1, Manuel Carnero2, Fernando Reguillo2, Enrique Rodriguez2, Teresa Tejerina1 and Santiago Redondo1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain

2 Service of Cardiac Surgery, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain

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Lipids in Health and Disease 2013, 12:62  doi:10.1186/1476-511X-12-62

Published: 3 May 2013



Inflammation is a common feature in the majority of cardiovascular disease, including Diabetes Mellitus (DM). Levels of pro-inflammatory markers have been found in increasing levels in serum from diabetic patients (DP). Moreover, levels of Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) are increased in coronary arteries from DP.


Through a cross-sectional design, patients who underwent CABG were recruited. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) were cultured and COX-2 was measured by western blot. Biochemical and clinical data were collected from the medical record and by blood testing. COX-2 expression was analyzed in internal mammary artery cross-sections by confocal microscopy. Eventually, PGI2 and PGE2 were assessed from VSMC conditioned media by ELISA.


Only a high glucose concentration, but a physiological concentration of triglycerides exposure of cultured human VSMC derived from non-diabetic patients increased COX-2 expression .Diabetic patients showed increasing serum levels of glucose, Hb1ac and triglycerides. The bivariate analysis of the variables showed that triglycerides was positively correlated with the expression of COX-2 in internal mammary arteries from patients (r2 = 0.214, P < 0.04).


We conclude that is not the glucose blood levels but the triglicerydes leves what increases the expression of COX-2 in arteries from DP.

Human arteries; Lipid profile; COX-2; Diabetes mellitus