Regulation of CD163 Receptor in Patients with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm and Associations with Antioxidant Enzymes HO-1 and NQO1

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Red blood cells are found within the abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), in the intraluminal thrombus (ILT), and in neovessels. Hemolysis promotes aortic degeneration, e.g., by heme-induced reactive oxygen species formation. To reduce its toxicity, hemoglobin is endocytosed by the CD163 receptor and heme is degraded by heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). A soluble form (sCD163) is discussed as an inflammatory biomarker representing the activation of monocytes and macrophages. HO-1 and NAD(P)H quinone dehydrogenase 1 (NQO1) are antioxidant genes that are induced by the Nrf2 transcription factor, but their regulation in AAA is only poorly understood. The aim of the present study was to analyze linkages between CD163, Nrf2, HO-1, and NQO1 and to clarify if plasma sCD163 has diagnostic and risk stratification potential. Soluble CD163 was 1.3-fold (p = 0.015) higher in AAA compared to patients without arterial disease. The difference remained significant after adjusting for age and sex. sCD163 correlated with the thickness of the ILT (rs = 0.26; p = 0.02) but not with the AAA diameter or volume. A high aneurysmal CD163 mRNA was connected to increases in NQO1, HMOX1, and Nrf2 mRNA. Further studies are needed to analyze the modulation of the CD163/HO-1/NQO1 pathway with the overall goal of minimizing the detrimental effects of hemolysis.


Original languageEnglish
Article number947
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2023

External IDs

unpaywall 10.3390/antiox12040947
Scopus 85156230821
WOS 000978932200001
ORCID /0000-0001-7803-1972/work/142235124


Subject groups, research areas, subject areas according to Destatis


  • abdominal aortic aneurysm, antioxidative enzymes, bilirubin, soluble CD163, Abdominal aortic aneurysm, Bilirubin, Antioxidative enzymes