Recent studies indicate a role of atherosclerosis-like changes involved in the pathogenesis of aortic valve stenosis. Interestingly, one of the major advanced glycation end products (AGEs), N(omega)-(carboxymethyl)lysine (CML) has been related to the process of atherosclerosis in blood vessels. In the present study, we have analyzed the presence of CML in degenerative altered aortic valves with atherosclerosis-like changes, and in degenerated mitral valves without atherosclerosis-like changes, derived from patients suffering from acute rheumatism during childhood. Degenerated and non-degenerated valves were derived from autopsy or obtained during cardiac surgery. The presence of CML was examined by immunohistochemistry. CML was found on the endothelium and fibroblasts in control aortic and mitral valves. Minor differences in CML staining were observed between control and degeneratively affected mitral valves. In contrast, in degenerated aortic valves, CML accumulation was found in macrophages and on calcification sites, comparable to that in atherosclerotic arteries, while the presence of CML staining on the endothelium and fibroblasts was significantly less as compared with control aortic valves. Our data support the hypothesis that the process of degeneration of aortic valves resembles that of atherosclerosis in blood vessels. They suggest that CML also plays a role in the process of atherosclerosis in aortic valves.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2004|