Figure 6. Verification in the clinical samples and gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA). (A) Human carotid artery segments were collected from below (normal control) and at (plaque-containing) the carotid bifurcation. (B) CCL18, CCL4, MMP9 and SPP1 expression in stable plaques (n=15 pair) and ruptured plaques (n=15 pair) were evaluated by qPCR and normalized against the corresponding glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) expression. An asterisk represents p<0.05, and two asterisks are shown as p<0.01 when compared with the normal control group. (C) Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) plots showing lipid metabolism and inflammatory immune-related gene sets progressively affected advanced-stage AS.