The data described herein are related to the article entitled "Tumor necrosis factor-α regulates triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1-dependent matrix metalloproteinases in the carotid plaques of symptomatic patients with carotid stenosis" (Rao et al., 2016) . Additional data are provided on the dose-response effect of TNF-α, TREM-1 antibody and recombinant rTREM-1/Fc fusion chimera (TREM-1/FC) on the expression of MMP-1 and MMP-9 in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) isolated from human carotid endarterectomy tissues. Data are also presented on the distribution of CD86+ M1- and CD206+ M2-macrophages and their co-localization with TREM-1 in symptomatic carotid plaques as visualized by dual immunofluorescence. The interpretation of this data and further extensive insights can be found in Rao et al. (2016) .
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