Background: More than seventeen million Americans are afflicted with diabetes and these people have four times the rate of coronary heart disease (CHD) as non-diabetics. Furthermore, diabetic women have a 3.8 fold greater risk for CHD compared to diabetic men. Little is known why diabetic women are at an increased risk for CHD. It is possible that diabetic women with cardiovascular disease (CVD) have a greater inflammatory response resulting in an increased platelet neutrophil conjugate formation than diabetic men with CVD or non-diabetic women with CVD. This study tested the hypothesis that platelet-neutrophil conjugates, which are associated with several cardiovascular diseases, are increased in diabetic women with CVD compared to diabetic men with CVD and non-diabetic women with CVD. Methods: Platelet-neutrophil conjugates were quantified by flow cytometry. The primary method is through direct binding of the neutrophil PSGL-1 receptor with P-selectin expressed on the platelet. Results: In this study, we found when the blood was stimulated with PAF (platelet activating factor), diabetic women without CVD demonstrated an increase in platelet-neutrophil conjugates compared to diabetic women with CVD and non-diabetic women with CVD (% conjugates: 63.3 ± 5.2 vs 46.8 ± 4.3 vs 48.6 ± 3.4, p < 0.05). The stimulation ratio was significantly increased in diabetic and non-diabetic women with CVD in comparison to diabetic men with CVD (ratio: 3.3 ± 0.4 vs 3.3 ± 0.3 vs 2.1 ± 0.3, p < 0.05). Conclusion: These results suggest that platelets and neutrophils in diabetic women have a greater potential for activation compared to diabetic men and may contribute to thrombosis/inflammation and the greater severity of coronary heart disease observed in diabetic women as compared to diabetic men.
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Platelet-Neutrophil Conjugates
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine