Inflammation and genetics play an important role in the pathogenesis of coronary heart disease (CHD). However, despite the increasing appreciation of the role of genetics in CHD and myocardial infarction (MI) pathogenesis, pharmacogenomic approaches to uncover drug target have not been extensively explored. Cyclo-oxygenases (COXs) and 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) are the key enzymes in the conversion of arachidonic acid to prostaglandins (PG) and leukotrienes (LT) and are implicated in a wide variety of inflammatory disorders, including atherosclerosis. In fact, PGE2 activates Matrix Metallo-proteinases whereas LTB4 is a chemoactractant for monocytes and activates gene expression in inflammatory cells. We have tested the hypothesis that anti-inflammatory variants of these genes confer genetic resistance to MI and conversely favour longevity. So, we analyzed MI patients, age-related controls and centenarians. The proinflammatory alleles of COX-2 and 5-LO were overrepresented in MI and under-represented in centenarians whereas agerelated controls displayed intermediate values. MI is a multifactorial disease, hence MI might be the result of a cumulative effect which contributes with different timing to achieve a threshold where the chance to develop the diseases is very high. In particular, differences in inflammatory status can contribute to the chance of developing a risk phenotype. However, these studies might contribute to the determination of a risk profile which may allow both the early identification of individuals susceptible to disease and the possible discovery of potential targets for drug.
Keywords: Immunogenetics, Infarction, Inflammation, Longevity, Pharmacogenomics
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