Caspase-3 is a caspase protein that interacts with caspase 8 and caspase-9. It is encoded by the CASP3 gene. CASP3 orthologs have been identified in numerous mammals for which complete genome data are available. Unique orthologs are also present in birds, lizards, lissamphibians, and teleosts.
Circulating caspase-3 levels at 24 h of ischemic stroke were found to be associated with poorer functional neurological outcome in a previous study.
The aim of a study of Lorente et al., was to determine whether there is an association between serum caspase-3 levels and early mortality in patients with malignant middle cerebral artery infarction (MMCAI).
They included patients with MMCAI defined as computer tomography showing ischemic changes in more than 50% of the middle cerebral artery territory and Glasgow Coma Scale ≤ 8. Serum caspase-3 levels at days 1, 4, and 8 of MMCAI were determined.
Non-surviving MMCAI (n = 34) showed higher serum caspase-3 levels at days 1 (p < 0.001), 4 (p = 0.001), and 8 (p = 0.01) than surviving patients (n = 34). We found that the area under the curve of serum caspase-3 levels for prediction of mortality at 30 days was 88% (95% CI = 78-95%; p < 0.001). Multiple logistic regression showed that serum caspase-3 levels were associated with 30-day mortality (OR = 51.25; 95% CI = 8.30-316.31; p < 0.001).
The novel and more important findings of the study were that high serum caspase-3 levels were associated with mortality in MMCAI patients 1).