BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN BASIC SCIENCE AND CLINICAL TRANSLATION: UNDERSTANDING THE ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN MONOCYTES/MACROPHAGES AND INFLAMMATION IN PATIENTS UNDERGOING CARDIAC SURGERY
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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. Work from our lab group and others has shown that monocytes/macrophages are key mediators in the inflammatory response involved in CVD and the development of myocardial fibrosis. Inflammation is characterized as a double-edged sword. While its classical response is healing/repair, it may have detrimental effects on the inflamed tissue. In this thesis, we explored the significance of circulating monocytes and cardiac resident macrophages in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. We demonstrated a pro-inflammatory shift in monocyte phenotype in blood post-surgery as was defined by CD14++CD16+ expression. We were also, able to correlate our CD16 data with neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), a biomarker used for clinical outcomes assessment. Additionally, we were able to successfully isolate cardiac macrophages from human right atrial appendages that were significantly different from circulating monocyte phenotypes and correlate these findings with age and atrial fibrillation.