Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub,
MD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: A major trait characterizing
centenarians is a relatively low frequency of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Since a proinflammatory genotype appears to contribute to the risk of ischemic
heart disease, the prevalence of proinflammatory alleles would also be expected
to be relatively low in people experiencing longevity.1 Toll-like
receptor 4 (TLR4), the activity of which may be modulated by genetic polymorphisms,
is a signaling receptor in innate immune defense. It is activated by lipopolysaccharide
from gram-negative bacteria and endogenous ligands, including those produced
in response to tissue injury. TLR4 is expressed on virtually all cells. However,
in atherosclerotic tissue its expression is markedly up-regulated, and the
inflammatory mediators produced by its activation exert various atherogenic
effects.2,3 In this study, we
evaluated whether prevalence of the TLR4 genotype
may have an association with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and with longevity.
Balistreri CR, Candore G, Colonna-Romano G, Lio D, Caruso M, Hoffmann E, Franceschi C, Caruso C. Role of Toll-like Receptor 4 in Acute Myocardial Infarction and Longevity. JAMA. 2004;292(19):2335-2340. doi:10.1001/jama.292.19.2339