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Publication Detail
Unique monocyte transcriptomic profiles are associated with preclinical atherosclerosis in women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Publication Type:
    Working discussion paper
  • Authors:
    Woodridge L, Chocano E, Ashford P, Robinson G, Waddington K, Rahman A, Orengo C, Jury E, Torra IP
  • Publication date:
  • Status:
Women with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) show significantly increased cardiovascular risk compared to the general population. However, despite CVD being a major cause of morbidity and mortality for these women, this increased risk is not managed clinically and tools to dissect and predict their cardiovascular risk are lacking. Notably, this elevated CVD risk is not captured by traditional risk factors. To explore molecular programs underlying asymptomatic atherosclerosis in SLE we used a well-characterised cohort of CVD-free women with SLE, scanned for asymptomatic atherosclerotic plaques using non-invasive ultrasound imaging of the carotid and femoral arteries. We investigated the transcriptomic profiles of CD14+ circulating monocytes in women with SLE with or without preclinical atherosclerosis. We identified unique monocytic gene expression profiles that distinguished the presence of preclinical plaques in women with SLE. In addition, advanced bioinformatic analysis revealed functional pathways and interactions between the genes identified that could explain mechanistic differences in plaque formation. We propose that these molecular signatures could help understand why a subset of women with SLE are predisposed to develop atherosclerosis and at higher risk of developing clinical CVD. Collectively with other efforts, these molecular insights will help to better define atherosclerosis in the context of SLE which will be critical for future patient stratification and identification of anti-atherosclerotic therapies.
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