Quantitative studies on fibrinogen and low-density lipoprotein in human aortic intima

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      The amounts of soluble, fibrinogen/fibrin related antigens (FRA) and of intact low-density (LD) lipoprotein in human aortic intima have been measured by an immunoelectrophoretic technique. Substantial amounts of FRA and LD lipoprotein were found in normal intima: in early fibrous lesions the concentrations of both antigens showed two- to four-fold increases compared with normal intima from the same aorta.
      In spite of the increase in concentration the ratio LD lipoprotein cholesterol/FRA did not differ significantly between normal intima and lesions. There was a significant correlation between lipoprotein and FRA (r = 0.722, P = 0.015), which suggests that fibrinogen may be entering the intima together with lipoprotein and other plasma constituents. When tissue samples were treated with thrombin about 50% of the antigen was “clotted”; the “clottable” material was presumably fibrinogen since “clottable” fragments are not derived from lysis of a stabilized fibrin clot. The results suggest that substantial amounts of plasma fibrinogen enter the intima; if this is converted to fibrin within the intimal tissue it could be a potent factor in atherogenesis.


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