Maternal undernutrition programmes atherosclerosis in the ApoE*3-Leiden mouse.
ABSTRACT: Poor quality of nutrition during fetal development is associated with adverse health outcomes in adult life. Epidemiological studies suggest that markers of fetal undernutrition are predictive of risk of the metabolic syndrome and CHD. Here we show that feeding a low-protein diet during pregnancy programmed the development of atherosclerosis in ApoE*3-Leiden mice. ApoE*3-Leiden mice carry a mutation of human ApoE*3 rendering them prone to atherosclerosis when fed a diet rich in cholesterol. It was noted that fetal exposure to protein restriction led to a greater degree of dyslipidaemia in mice when fed an atherogenic diet, with low-protein-exposed ApoE*3 mice having elevated total plasma cholesterol (34 % higher; P < 0.001) and TAG (39 % higher; P < 0.001) relative to offspring exposed to a control diet in utero. The low-protein group developed more severe atherosclerotic lesions within the aortic arch (2.61-fold greater lesion area; P < 0.001). Analysis of a targeted gene array suggested a potential role for members of the LDL receptor superfamily, along with similar programmed suppression of the mRNA expression of hepatic sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c. This indicates that disordered lipid metabolism may play a role in the fetal programming of atherosclerosis in this model. Whereas earlier studies have shown early programming of cardiovascular risk factors, these results demonstrate for the first time that the interaction of prenatal undernutrition with a postnatal atherogenic diet increases the extent of atherosclerotic disease.
Project description:Deficiency of apolipoprotein E (APOE) causes familial dysbetalipoproteinemia in humans resulting in a higher risk of atherosclerotic disease. In mice, APOE deficiency results in a severe atherosclerosis phenotype, but it is unknown to what extent this is unique to mice. In this study, APOE was targeted in Yucatan minipigs. APOE-/- minipigs displayed increased plasma cholesterol and accumulation of apolipoprotein B-48-containing chylomicron remnants on low-fat diet, which was significantly accentuated upon feeding a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet. APOE-/- minipigs displayed accelerated progressive atherosclerosis but not xanthoma formation. This indicates that remnant lipoproteinemia does not induce early lesions but is atherogenic in pre-existing atherosclerosis.
Project description:Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the most prevalent cause of mortality among patients with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, due to accelerated atherosclerosis. Recent evidence suggests a strong link between atherosclerosis and insulin resistance due to impaired insulin receptor (IR) signaling. Moreover, inflammatory cells, in particular macrophages, play a key role in pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and insulin resistance in humans. We hypothesized that inhibiting the activity of protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B), the major negative regulator of the IR, specifically in macrophages, would have beneficial anti-inflammatory effects and lead to protection against atherosclerosis and CVD.We generated novel macrophage-specific PTP1B knockout mice on atherogenic background (ApoE-/-/LysM-PTP1B). Mice were fed standard or pro-atherogenic diet, and body weight, adiposity (echoMRI), glucose homeostasis, atherosclerotic plaque development, and molecular, biochemical and targeted lipidomic eicosanoid analyses were performed.Myeloid-PTP1B knockout mice on atherogenic background (ApoE-/-/LysM-PTP1B) exhibited a striking improvement in glucose homeostasis, decreased circulating lipids and decreased atherosclerotic plaque lesions, in the absence of body weight/adiposity differences. This was associated with enhanced phosphorylation of aortic Akt, AMPK? and increased secretion of circulating anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), without measurable alterations in IR phosphorylation, suggesting a direct beneficial effect of myeloid-PTP1B targeting.Here we demonstrate that inhibiting the activity of PTP1B specifically in myeloid lineage cells protects against atherosclerotic plaque formation, under atherogenic conditions, in an ApoE-/- mouse model of atherosclerosis. Our findings suggest for the first time that macrophage PTP1B targeting could be a therapeutic target for atherosclerosis treatment and reduction of CVD risk.
Project description:Mounting evidence in humans supports an etiological role for the microbiota in inflammatory atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a progressive disease characterized by accumulation of inflammatory cells and lipids in vascular tissue. While retention of lipoprotein into the sub-endothelial vascular layer is believed to be the initiating stimulus leading to the development of atherosclerosis, activation of multiple pathways related to vascular inflammation and endothelial dysfunction sustain the process by stimulating recruitment of leukocytes and immune cells into the sub-endothelial layer. The Gram-negative oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis has been associated with the development and acceleration of atherosclerosis in humans and these observations have been validated in animal models. It has been proposed that common mechanisms of immune signaling link stimulation by lipids and pathogens to vascular inflammation. Despite the common outcome of P. gingivalis and lipid feeding on atherosclerosis progression, we established that these pro-atherogenic stimuli induced distinct gene signatures in the ApoE-/- mouse model of atherosclerosis. In this study, we further defined the distinct roles of dietary lipids and P. gingivalis infection on atherosclerosis progression and the gut microbiota. We demonstrate that diet-induced lipid lowering resulted in less atherosclerotic plaque in ApoE-/- mice compared to ApoE-/- mice continuously fed a Western diet. However, the effect of diet-induced lipid lowering on plaque accumulation was blunted by P. gingivalis infection. Using principal component analysis and hierarchical clustering, we demonstrate that dietary intervention as well as P. gingivalis infection result in distinct bacterial communities in fecal and cecal samples of ApoE-/- mice as compared to ApoE-/- mice continuously fed either a Western diet or a normal chow diet. Collectively, we identified distinct microbiota changes accompanying atherosclerotic plaque, suggesting a future avenue for investigation on the impact of the gut microbiota, diet, and P. gingivalis infection on atherosclerosis.
Project description:In vitro data indicate that human LDL modified by Group V secretory phospholipase A(2) (GV sPLA(2)) is proatherogenic. Consistent with this, gain and loss of function studies demonstrated that GV sPLA(2) promotes atherosclerosis in LDLR(-/-) mice. The current study investigates whether GV sPLA(2) promotes atherosclerotic processes in apoE(-/-) mice.LDL (d=1.019 to 1.063) from apoE(-/-) and LDLR(-/-) mice fed chow or Western diet were hydrolyzed by GV sPLA(2). Phosphatidylcholine on LDL from LDLR(-/-) mice fed either a chow or Western diet was hydrolyzed to a greater extent (61.1+/-0.4% and 45.3+/-4.6%) than the corresponding fractions from apoE(-/-) mice (41.7+/-3.6% and 39.4+/-1.2%). ApoE(-/-) LDL induced macrophage foam cell formation in vitro without modification by GV sPLA(2), whereas hydrolysis of LDLR(-/-) LDL was a prerequisite for foam cell formation. In contrast to findings in LDLR(-/-) mice, GV sPLA(2) deficiency did not significantly reduce atherosclerosis in apoE(-/-) mice, although collagen content was significantly reduced in lesions of apoE(-/-) mice lacking GV sPLA(2).The ability of GV sPLA(2) to promote atherosclerotic lipid deposition in apoE(-/-) and LDLR(-/-) mice may be related to its ability to increase the atherogenic potential of LDL from these mice as assessed in vitro.
Project description:Ecto-nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 1 (NPP1) generates inorganic pyrophosphate (PP(i)), a physiologic inhibitor of hydroxyapatite deposition. In a previous study, we found NPP1 expression to be inversely correlated with the degree of atherosclerotic plaque calcification. Moreover, function-impairing mutations of ENPP1, the gene encoding for NPP1, are associated with severe, artery tunica media calcification and myointimal hyperplasia with infantile onset in human beings. NPP1 and PP(i) have the potential to modulate atherogenesis by regulating arterial smooth muscle cell (SMC) differentiation and function, including increase of pro-atherogenic osteopontin (OPN) expression. Hence, this study tested the hypothesis that NPP1 deficiency modulates both atherogenesis and atherosclerotic intimal plaque calcification. Npp1/ApoE double deficient mice were generated by crossing mice bearing the ttw allele of Enpp1 (that encodes a truncation mutation) with ApoE null mice and fed with high-fat/high-cholesterol atherogenic diet. Atherosclerotic lesion area and calcification were examined at 13, 18, 23 and 28 weeks of age. The aortic SMCs isolated from both ttw/ttw ApoE(-/-) and ttw/+ ApoE(-/-) mice demonstrated decreased Opn expression. The 28-week-old ttw/ttw ApoE(-/-) and ttw/+ ApoE(-/-) had significantly smaller atherosclerotic lesions compared with wild-type congenic ApoE(-/-) mice. Only ttw/ttw but not ttw/+ mice developed artery media calcification. Furthermore in ttw/+ mice, there was a tendency towards increased plaque calcification compared to ApoE(-/-) mice without Npp1 deficiency. We conclude that Npp1 promotes atherosclerosis, potentially mediated by Opn expression in ApoE knockout mice.
Project description:Atherosclerosis, a major form of cardiovascular disease, has now been recognized as a chronic inflammatory disease. Nonpharmacological means of treating chronic diseases have gained attention recently. We previously reported that sesame oil has anti-atherosclerotic properties. In this study, we have determined the mechanisms by which sesame oil might modulate atherosclerosis by identifying genes and inflammatory markers. Low-density lipoprotein receptor knockout (LDLR(-/-)) female mice were fed with either an atherogenic diet or an atherogenic diet reformulated with sesame oil (sesame oil diet). Plasma lipids and atherosclerotic lesions were quantified after 3 months of feeding. Plasma samples were used for cytokine analysis. RNA was extracted from the liver tissue and used for global gene arrays. The sesame oil diet significantly reduced atherosclerotic lesions, plasma cholesterol, triglyceride, and LDL cholesterol levels in LDLR(-/-) mice. Plasma inflammatory cytokines, such as MCP-1, RANTES, IL-1?, IL-6, and CXCL-16, were significantly reduced, demonstrating an anti-inflammatory property of sesame oil. Gene array analysis showed that sesame oil induced many genes, including ABCA1, ABCA2, APOE, LCAT, and CYP7A1, which are involved in cholesterol metabolism and reverse cholesterol transport. In conclusion, our studies suggest that a sesame oil-enriched diet could be an effective nonpharmacological treatment for atherosclerosis by controlling inflammation and regulating lipid metabolism.
Project description:Atherosclerosis and ensuing cardiovascular disease are major causes of death with insufficient treatment options. In search for pathomechanisms of atherosclerosis, we investigated the impact of the B2 bradykinin receptor, Bdkrb2, on atherosclerotic lesion formation, because to date it is not clear whether the B2 bradykinin receptor is atheroprotective or atherogenic. As a model of atherosclerosis, we used hypercholesterolemic ApoE-deficient (apolipoprotein E-deficient) mice, which develop atherosclerotic lesions in the aorta with increasing age. The role of Bdkrb2 in atherosclerosis was studied in ApoE-deficient mice, which were either Bdkrb2-deficient, or had moderately increased aortic B2 bradykinin receptor protein levels induced by transgenic BDKRB2 expression under control of the ubiquitous CMV promoter. We found that Bdkrb2 deficiency led to a significantly decreased atherosclerotic plaque area whereas transgenic BDKRB2 expression enhanced atherosclerotic lesion formation in the aorta of ApoE-deficient mice at an age of 8 months. Concomitantly, the aortic content of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was higher in BDKRB2-expressing mice whereas Bdkrb2 deficiency decreased aortic ROS levels of ApoE-deficient mice. In addition, aortic nitrate as a marker of nitric oxide activity and the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) co-factor, tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) were reduced in BDKRB2-expressing ApoE-deficient mice. The decreased aortic BH4 content could be a consequence of increased ROS generation and down-regulated aortic expression of the BH4-synthesizing enzyme, Gch1 (GTP cyclohydrolase 1). In agreement with a causal involvement of decreased BH4 levels in the atherogenic function of BDKRB2, we found that treatment with the BH4 analog, sapropterin, significantly retarded atherosclerotic plaque formation in BDKRB2-expressing ApoE-deficient mice. Together our data show that the B2 bradykinin receptor is atherogenic, and the atherosclerosis-promoting function of BDKRB2 is partially caused by decreased aortic BH4 levels, which could account for eNOS uncoupling and further enhancement of ROS generation.
Project description:Reduced numbers and activity of circulating progenitor cells are associated with aging and have been linked with coronary artery disease. To determine the impact of aging and atherosclerotic disease on the chemotaxic activity of bone marrow derived cells (BMCs), we examined CXCR4 surface expression on BMCs from aged and atherosclerotic mice.CXCR4 expression and cellular mobility were compared between BMCs of young (6-week old) ApoE null mice (ApoE(-/-)) and aged ApoE(-/-) mice that had been fed with a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet for 6-months.Age and atherosclerosis correlated with significantly lower surface expression of CXCR4 that was less inducible by calcium. The impaired calcium response was associated with defective calcium influx and was partially recovered by treatment with the calcium ionophore ionomycin. ApoE(-/-) mice fed high fat diet for 6-months had defective CXCR4 expression and SDF-1 regulation that is equivalent to that of 24-month old wild type mice. BMCs from aged, atherogenic ApoE(-/-) mice also displayed defective homing to SDF-1, and the animals had lower serum and bone marrow levels of SDF-1.Evolution of atherosclerosis in ApoE(-/-) mice is paralleled by progressive loss of mobility of BMCs with reductions of CXCR4 expression, and reduced levels of SDF-1 in both serum and bone marrow. These changes mute the homing capability of BMCs and may contribute to the progression of atherosclerosis in this model.
Project description:C3H/HeJ (C3H) mice develop much smaller atherosclerotic lesions than C57BL/6 (B6) mice when deficient in apolipoprotein E (apoE?(/)?) or fed an atherogenic diet. The 2 strains differ in H2 haplotypes, with B6 having H2(b) and C3H having H2(k). C3.SW-H2(b)/SnJ (C3.SW) is a congenic strain of C3H/HeJ in which H2(k) is replaced with H2(b).We performed bone marrow transplantation and found that atherosclerosis-resistant C3.SW.apoE?(/)? mice reconstituted with bone marrow from either C3.SW.apoE?(/)? or B6.apoE?(/)? mice after lethal irradiation had significantly larger atherosclerotic lesions than B6.apoE?(/)? mice receiving identical treatments and much larger lesions than C3H.apoE?(/)? mice reconstituted with syngeneic bone marrow. For syngeneic transplantation, C3.SW.apoE?(/)? mice exhibited a 21-fold increase in lesion size over C3H.apoE?(/)? mice (152 800±21 937 versus 7060±2290 ?m²/section) and a near 4-fold increase over B6.apoE?(/)? mice (40 529±4675 ?m²/section). C3.SW.apoE?(/)? mice reconstituted with syngeneic marrow exhibited enhanced lesion formation relative to those reconstituted with B6 marrow (152 800±21 937 versus 107 000±9374 ?m²/section; P=0.067). Sublethal irradiation led to a 6-fold increase of lesion size in C3.SW.apoE?(/)? mice (9795±2804 versus 1550±607 ?m²/section; P=0.008). Wild-type C3.SW mice reconstituted with apoE(+/+) or apoE?(/)? bone marrow had significantly larger atherosclerotic lesions than C3H mice receiving identical treatments on an atherogenic diet.These results indicate that gene(s) within the H2 region have a dramatic impact on radiation-enhanced atherosclerosis, and their effect is conveyed partially through bone marrow-derived cells.