As an anti-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-37 (IL-37) provides certain protective effects against inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Recent reports indicate that IL-37 is expressed in foam cells of atherosclerotic plaques in both the coronary and carotid arteries of humans, suggesting the possible involvement of IL-37 in the pathogenesis and progression of atherosclerosis. Current evidence supports the protective role that IL-37 plays against atherosclerosis via the regulation of different subtypes of macrophage.
The aim of this study was to identify potential markers of atherosclerosis development in familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) patients. GSE13985 microarray data, generated using blood samples from 5 FH patients and 5 matched controls, was downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between FH and controls were identified and a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network was constructed. Module and hub proteins were screened in this network.