Immunohistochemical expression of anti-CD68 antibody in atherosclerotic plaque

Vol. 53 No. 1, 2012


Elena Cojocaru, Mioara Trandafirescu, Magda Leon, C. Cotutiu, Liliana Foia

Inflammation of the vascular wall is an essential event in the development of atherosclerosis, the main leukocytes of the inflammatory infiltrate being the monocyte/macrophages. These cells are very heterogeneous and rapidly change their function in response to signals received from the local environment. Purpose: The aim of this research was to study the immunohistochemical expression of the anti-CD68 antibody at the level of the atherosclerotic plaque. Materials and Methods: We used tissue samples obtained by endarterectomies in patients with symptomatic atherosclerotic lesions. Inflammatory reaction was highlighted in the arterial wall by immunohistochemistry using an anti-CD68 monoclonal antibody that marks normal or pathological monocytes/macrophages. Results and Discussion: The types of analyzed atherosclerotic lesions showed a positive reaction with the anti-CD68 antibody, varying in distribution and intensity in the vascular intima. The CD68 was positive in macrophages depending on the extent of the inflammatory reaction. Conclusions: The presence of many macrophages in the atherosclerotic plaques indicates a chronic inflammatory reaction, accompanied by fibroblast proliferation and connective tissue changes that influence the stability of the plaques.

Corresponding author: Elena Cojocaru, Teaching Assistant, MD, PhD, e-mail:

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