OBJECTIVE: Smoking and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) are risk factors for coronary artery spasm (CAS), which is characterized by the increased interleukin-6 (IL-6) level and monocyte counts; however, limited data are available regarding the role of cigarette-embedded nicotine in the modulation of monocytic inflammatory activity in CAS. APPROACH: We investigated and elucidated the putative roles and associations of nicotine, monocytic IL-6, α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR), and CRP in CAS development. RESULTS: We demonstrated that a significantly increased α7-nAChR (p = 0.001) and IL-6 (p = 0.0036) messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in the serum of patients with CAS. Serum hs-CRP levels exhibited a strong positive correlation with the monocytic mRNA expression of α7-nAChR (r = 0.71, p < 0.001) and IL-6 (r = 0.49, p = 0.006). The α7-nAChR and IL-6 expression levels of the CAS group were also positively correlated (r = 0.63, p < 0.001). Compared with the untreated controls, THP-1 cells and patient-derived monocytes treated with different concentrations of CRP displayed significantly increased expression levels of α7-nAChR mRNA and protein (p = 0.0054), in a dose-dependent manner. We also demonstrated that compared with the IL-6 expression elicited by CRP alone (p = 0.0489), the CRP-induced rise in monocytic IL-6 mRNA and protein expression in the presence of nicotine (p = 0.0002), is mediated by α7-nAChR activation and the deregulation of the human p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) signaling pathway. CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrate that the elevated monocytic IL-6 and α7-nAChR mRNA and protein expression levels are associated with the interaction between nicotine and CRP positively modulates CAS development. Our study suggests the potential role of α7-nAChR mRNA and/or protein expression as a diagnostic biomarker for CAS.
|頁（從 - 到）||266-276|
|期刊||Free Radical Biology and Medicine|
|出版狀態||已發佈 - 五月 20 2018|
ASJC Scopus subject areas