ApoE-/- PGC-1?-/- mice display reduced IL-18 levels and do not develop enhanced atherosclerosis.
ABSTRACT: Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease that evolves from the interaction of activated endothelial cells, macrophages, lymphocytes and modified lipoproteins (LDLs). In the last years many molecules with crucial metabolic functions have been shown to prevent important steps in the progression of atherogenesis, including peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs) and the class III histone deacetylase (HDAC) SIRT1. The PPAR? coactivator 1 alpha (Ppargc1a or PGC-1?) was identified as an important transcriptional cofactor of PPAR? and is activated by SIRT1. The aim of this study was to analyze total PGC-1? deficiency in an atherosclerotic mouse model.To investigate if total PGC-1? deficiency affects atherosclerosis, we compared ApoE(-/-) PGC-1?(-/-) and ApoE(-/-) PGC-1?(+/+) mice kept on a high cholesterol diet. Despite having more macrophages and a higher ICAM-1 expression in plaques, ApoE(-/-) PGC-1?(-/-) did not display more or larger atherosclerotic plaques than their ApoE(-/-) PGC-1?(+/+) littermates. In line with the previously published phenotype of PGC-1?(-/-) mice, ApoE(-/-) PGC-1?(-/-) mice had marked reduced body, liver and epididymal white adipose tissue (WAT) weight. VLDL/LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride contents were also reduced. Aortic expression of PPAR? and PPAR?, two crucial regulators for adipocyte differentiation and glucose and lipid metabolism, as well as the expression of some PPAR target genes was significantly reduced in ApoE(-/-) PGC-1?(-/-) mice. Importantly, the epididymal WAT and aortic expression of IL-18 and IL-18 plasma levels, a pro-atherosclerotic cytokine, was markedly reduced in ApoE(-/-) PGC-1?(-/-) mice.ApoE(-/-) PGC-1?(-/-) mice, similar as PGC-1?(-/-) mice exhibit markedly reduced total body and visceral fat weight. Since inflammation of visceral fat is a crucial trigger of atherogenesis, decreased visceral fat in PGC-1?-deficient mice may explain why these mice do not develop enhanced atherosclerosis.
Project description:Atherogenesis is a long-term process that involves inflammatory response coupled with metabolic dysfunction. Foam cell formation and macrophage inflammatory response are two key events in atherogenesis. Adipocyte enhancer-binding protein 1 (AEBP1) has been shown to impede macrophage cholesterol efflux, promoting foam cell formation, via peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-?1 and liver X receptor ? (LXR?) downregulation. Moreover, AEBP1 has been shown to promote macrophage inflammatory responsiveness by inducing nuclear factor (NF)-?B activity via I?B? downregulation. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced suppression of pivotal macrophage cholesterol efflux mediators, leading to foam cell formation, has been shown to be mediated by AEBP1. Herein, we showed that AEBP1-transgenic mice (AEBP1(TG)) with macrophage-specific AEBP1 overexpression exhibit hyperlipidemia and develop atherosclerotic lesions in their proximal aortas. Consistently, ablation of AEBP1 results in significant attenuation of atherosclerosis (males: 3.2-fold, P = 0.001 [en face]), 2.7-fold, P = 0.0004 [aortic roots]; females: 2.1-fold, P = 0.0026 [en face], 1.7-fold, P = 0.0126 [aortic roots]) in the AEBP1(-/-)/low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR )(-/-) double-knockout (KO) mice. Bone marrow (BM) transplantation experiments further revealed that LDLR (-/-) mice reconstituted with AEBP1(-/-)/LDLR (-/-) BM cells (LDLR (-/-)/KO-BM chimera) display significant reduction of atherosclerosis lesions (en face: 2.0-fold, P = 0.0268; aortic roots: 1.7-fold, P = 0.05) compared with control mice reconstituted with AEBP1(+/+)/LDLR (-/-) BM cells (LDLR (-/-)/WT-BM chimera). Furthermore, transplantation of AEBP1(TG) BM cells with the normal apolipoprotein E (ApoE) gene into ApoE (-/-) mice (ApoE (-/-)/TG-BM chimera) leads to significant development of atherosclerosis (males: 2.5-fold, P = 0.0001 [en face], 4.7-fold, P = 0.0001 [aortic roots]; females: 1.8-fold, P = 0.0001 [en face], 3.0-fold, P = 0.0001 [aortic roots]) despite the restoration of ApoE expression. Macrophages from ApoE (-/-)/TG-BM chimeric mice express reduced levels of PPAR?1, LXR?, ATP-binding cassette A1 (ABCA1) and ATP-binding cassette G1 (ABCG1) and increased levels of the inflammatory mediators interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-? compared with macrophages of control chimeric mice (ApoE (-/-)/NT-BM ) that received AEBP1 nontransgenic (AEBP1(NT) ) BM cells. Our in vivo experimental data strongly suggest that macrophage AEBP1 plays critical regulatory roles in atherogenesis, and it may serve as a potential therapeutic target for the prevention or treatment of atherosclerosis.
Project description:Endurance exercise training prevents atherosclerosis. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) increases myokine secretion from the skeletal muscle, and these myokines have been shown to affect the function of multiple organs. Since endurance exercise training increases PGC-1α expression in skeletal muscles, we investigated whether skeletal muscle-specific PGC-1α overexpression suppresses atherosclerosis. Apolipoprotein E-knockout (ApoE-KO)/PGC-1α mice, which overexpress PGC-1α in the skeletal muscle of ApoE-KO mice, were sacrificed, and the atherosclerotic plaque area, spontaneous activity, plasma lipid profile, and aortic gene expression were measured. Immunohistochemical analyses were also performed. The atherosclerotic lesions in ApoE-KO/PGC-1α mice were 40% smaller than those in ApoE-KO mice, concomitant with the reduction in vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) mRNA and protein levels in the aorta. Spontaneous activity and plasma lipid profiles were not changed by the overexpression of PGC-1α in the skeletal muscle. In human umbilical vein endothelial cells, Irisin and β-aminoisobutyric acid (BAIBA), PGC-1α-dependent myokines, inhibited the tumor necrosis factor α-induced VCAM-1 gene and protein expression. BAIBA also inhibited TNFα-induced MCP-1 gene expression. These results showed that the skeletal muscle-specific overexpression of PGC-1α suppresses atherosclerosis and that PGC-1α-dependent myokines may be involved in the preventive effects observed.
Project description:Fat inflammation may play an important role in comorbidities associated with obesity such as atherosclerosis.To first establish feasibility of fat transplantation, epididymal fat pads were harvested from wild-type C57BL/6J mice and transplanted into leptin-deficient (Lep(ob/ob)) mice. Fat transplantation produced physiological leptin levels and prevented obesity and infertility in Lep(ob/ob) mice. However, the transplanted fat depots were associated with chronically increased macrophage infiltration with characteristics identical to those observed in fat harvested from obese animals. The inflammation in transplanted adipose depots was regulated by the same factors that have been implicated in endogenous fat inflammation such as monocyte chemoattractant protein-1. To determine whether this inflamed adipose depot could affect vascular disease in mice, epididymal fat depots were transplanted into atherosclerosis-prone apolipoprotein E-deficient ApoE(-/-) mice. Plasma from ApoE(-/-) mice receiving fat transplants contained increased leptin, resistin, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 compared with plasma from sham-operated ApoE(-/-) mice. Furthermore, mice transplanted with visceral fat developed significantly more atherosclerosis compared with sham-operated animals, whereas transplants with subcutaneous fat did not affect atherosclerosis despite a similar degree of fat inflammation. Treatment of transplanted ApoE(-/-) mice with pioglitazone decreased macrophage content of the transplanted visceral fat pad and reduced plasma monocyte chemoattractant protein-1. Importantly, pioglitazone also reduced atherosclerosis triggered by inflammatory visceral fat but had no protective effect on atherosclerosis in the absence of the visceral fat transplantation.Our results indicate that visceral adipose-related inflammation accelerates atherosclerosis in mice. Drugs such as thiazolidinediones might be a useful strategy to specifically attenuate the vascular disease induced by visceral inflammatory fat.
Project description:Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a biologically active sphingolipid that has pleiotropic effects in a variety of cell types including ECs, SMCs, and macrophages, all of which are central to the development of atherosclerosis. It may therefore exert stimulatory and inhibitory effects on atherosclerosis. Here, we investigated the role of the S1P receptor S1PR2 in atherosclerosis by analyzing S1pr2-/- mice with an Apoe-/- background. S1PR2 was expressed in macrophages, ECs, and SMCs in atherosclerotic aortas. In S1pr2-/-Apoe-/- mice fed a high-cholesterol diet for 4 months, the area of the atherosclerotic plaque was markedly decreased, with reduced macrophage density, increased SMC density, increased eNOS phosphorylation, and downregulation of proinflammatory cytokines compared with S1pr2+/+Apoe-/- mice. Bone marrow chimera experiments indicated a major role for macrophage S1PR2 in atherogenesis. S1pr2-/-Apoe-/- macrophages showed diminished Rho/Rho kinase/NF-?B (ROCK/NF-?B) activity. Consequently, they also displayed reduced cytokine expression, reduced oxidized LDL uptake, and stimulated cholesterol efflux associated with decreased scavenger receptor expression and increased cholesterol efflux transporter expression. S1pr2-/-Apoe-/- ECs also showed reduced ROCK and NF-?B activities, with decreased MCP-1 expression and elevated eNOS phosphorylation. Pharmacologic S1PR2 blockade in S1pr2+/+Apoe-/- mice diminished the atherosclerotic plaque area in aortas and modified LDL accumulation in macrophages. We conclude therefore that S1PR2 plays a critical role in atherogenesis and may serve as a novel therapeutic target for atherosclerosis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Beige adipocytes comprise a unique thermogenic cell type in the white adipose tissue (WAT) of rodents and humans, and play a critical role in energy homeostasis. In this scenario, recruitment of beige cells has been an important focus of interest for the development of novel therapeutic strategies to treat obesity. PPAR? activation by full agonists (thiazolidinediones, TZDs) drives the appearance of beige cells, a process so-called browning of WAT. However, this does not translate into increased energy expenditure, and TZDs are associated with weight gain. Partial PPAR? agonists, on the other hand, do not induce weight gain, but have not been shown to drive WAT browning. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of GQ-16 on BAT and on browning of WAT in obese mice. METHODS:Male Swiss mice with obesity and hyperglycemia induced by high fat diet were treated with vehicle, rosiglitazone (4 mg/kg/d) or the TZD-derived partial PPAR? agonist GQ-16 (40 mg/kg/d) for 14 days. Fasting blood glucose, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and lipid profile were measured. WAT and brown adipose tissue (BAT) depots were excised for determination of adiposity, relative expression of Ucp-1, Cidea, Prdm16, Cd40 and Tmem26 by RT-qPCR, histological analysis, and UCP-1 protein expression analysis by immunohistochemistry. Liver samples were also removed for histological analysis and determination of hepatic triglyceride content. RESULTS:GQ-16 treatment reduced high fat diet-induced weight gain in mice despite increasing energy intake. This was accompanied by reduced epididymal fat mass, reduced liver triglyceride content, morphological signs of increased BAT activity, increased expression of thermogenesis-related genes in interscapular BAT and epididymal WAT, and increased UCP-1 protein expression in interscapular BAT and in epididymal and inguinal WAT. CONCLUSION:This study suggests for the first time that a partial PPAR? agonist may increase BAT activity and induce the expression of thermogenesis-related genes in visceral WAT. GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE:These findings suggest that PPAR? activity might be modulated by partial agonists to induce WAT browning and treat obesity.
Project description:RATIONALE:The chemokine receptor Ccr6 is a G-protein-coupled receptor expressed on various types of leukocytes identified in mouse atherosclerotic lesions. Recent evidence suggests that both CCR6 and its ligand CCL20 are also present in human atheroma; however, their functional roles in atherogenesis remain undefined. OBJECTIVE:Our objective was to delineate the role of Ccr6 in atherogenesis in the apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE(-/-)) mouse model of atherosclerosis. METHODS AND RESULTS:Both Ccr6 and Ccl20 are expressed in atherosclerotic aorta from ApoE(-/-) mice. Aortic lesion area in Ccr6(-/-)ApoE(-/-) mice was ?40% and ?30% smaller than in Ccr6(+/+)ApoE(-/-) mice at 16 and 24 weeks of age, respectively. Transplantation of bone marrow from Ccr6(-/-) mice into ApoE(-/-) mice resulted in ?40% less atherosclerotic lesion area than for bone marrow from Ccr6(+/+) mice; lesions in Ccr6(-/-)ApoE(-/-) mice had 44% less macrophage content than lesions in Ccr6(+/+)ApoE(-/-) mice. Ccr6 was expressed on a subset of primary mouse monocytes. Accordingly, Ccl20 induced chemotaxis of primary monocytes from wild-type but not Ccr6(-/-) mice; moreover, Ccl20 induced monocytosis in ApoE(-/-) mice in vivo. Consistent with this, we observed 30% fewer monocytes in circulating blood of Ccr6(-/-)ApoE(-/-) mice, mainly because of fewer CD11b(+)Ly6C(high) inflammatory monocytes. CONCLUSIONS:Ccr6 promotes atherosclerosis in ApoE-deficient mice, which may be due in part to Ccr6 support of normal monocyte levels in blood, as well as direct Ccr6-dependent monocyte migration.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Aleglitazar is a dual PPAR?/? agonist but little is known about its effects on vascular function and atherogenesis. Hence, we characterized its effects on circulating angiogenic cells (CAC), neoangiogenesis, endothelial function, arteriogenesis and atherosclerosis in mice. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: C57Bl/6 wild-type (WT, normal chow), endothelial NOS (eNOS)(-/-) (normal chow) and ApoE(-/-) (Western-type diet) mice were treated with aleglitazar (10?mg·kg(-1) ·day(-1) , i.p.) or vehicle. KEY RESULTS: Aleglitazar enhanced expression of PPAR? and PPAR? target genes, normalized glucose tolerance and potently reduced hepatic fat in ApoE(-/-) mice. In WT mice, but not in eNOS(-/-) , aleglitazar up-regulated Sca-1/VEGFR2-positive CAC in the blood and bone marrow and up-regulated diLDL/lectin-positive CAC. Aleglitazar augmented CAC migration and enhanced neoangiogenesis. In ApoE(-/-) mice, aleglitazar up-regulated CAC number and function, reduced markers of vascular inflammation and potently improved perfusion restoration after hindlimb ischaemia and aortic endothelium-dependent vasodilatation. This was associated with markedly reduced formation of atherosclerotic plaques. In human cultured CAC from healthy donors and patients with coronary artery disease with or without diabetes mellitus, aleglitazar increased migration and colony-forming units in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, oxidative stress-induced CAC apoptosis and expression of p53 were reduced, while telomerase activity and expression of phospho-eNOS and phospho-Akt were elevated. Comparative agonist and inhibitor experiments revealed that aleglitazar's effects on CAC migration and colony-forming units were mediated by both PPAR? and PPAR? signalling and required Akt. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Aleglitazar augments the number, function and survival of CAC, which correlates with improved vascular function, enhanced arteriogenesis and prevention of atherosclerosis in mice.
Project description:Pak1 plays an important role in various cellular processes, including cell motility, polarity, survival and proliferation. To date, its role in atherogenesis has not been explored. Here we report the effect of Pak1 on atherogenesis using atherosclerosis-prone apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE(-/-)) mice as a model. Disruption of Pak1 in ApoE(-/-) mice results in reduced plaque burden, significantly attenuates circulating IL-6 and MCP-1 levels, limits the expression of adhesion molecules and diminishes the macrophage content in the aortic root of ApoE(-/-) mice. We also observed reduced oxidized LDL uptake and increased cholesterol efflux by macrophages and smooth muscle cells of ApoE(-/-):Pak1(-/-) mice as compared with ApoE(-/-) mice. In addition, we detect increased Pak1 phosphorylation in human atherosclerotic arteries, suggesting its role in human atherogenesis. Altogether, these results identify Pak1 as an important factor in the initiation and progression of atherogenesis.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>Peroxisome-proliferator-activated-receptor-? (PPAR?) acts as a transcriptional regulator of multiple genes involved in glucose and lipid metabolism. In vitro studies showed that activated PPAR? suppresses AT1R-gene expression and vice versa. However, it has not yet been determined in vivo, whether AT1R-PPAR?-interactions play a relevant role in the pathogenesis of diabetic complications and specifically in accelerated atherosclerosis.<h4>Methods and results</h4>ApoE-/- and ApoE-/-/AT1R-/--mice were rendered diabetic by intraperitoneal injections of streptozotocin. Diabetic and non-diabetic ApoE-/--mice were further randomized to receive the AT1R antagonist telmisartan, the selective PPAR? antagonist GW9662, telmisartan and GW9662 or vehicle for 18 weeks. Diabetic and non-diabetic ApoE-/-/AT1R-/--mice were randomized to receive either GW9662 or vehicle. GW9662 treatment in diabetic ApoE-/- and diabetic ApoE-/-/AT1-/--mice resulted in the highest elevation of fasting blood glucose levels, whereas telmisartan treatment and AT1 deficiency in ApoE-/--mice showed the lowest fasting blood glucose levels. Diabetic ApoE-/--mice displayed severe impairment of endothelial function, enhanced oxidative stress and increased atherosclerotic lesion formation. ApoE-/-/AT1R-/- and telmisartan-treated ApoE-/--mice showed a significantly better endothelial function, decreased oxidative stress and reduced atherosclerotic lesion formation. Treatment of diabetic ApoE-/- and ApoE-/-/AT1R-/--mice with the selective PPAR? antagonist GW9662 omitted the atheroprotective effects of AT1R deficiency or AT1 antagonism.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Genetic disruption or pharmacological inhibition of the AT1R attenuates atherosclerosis and improves endothelial function in diabetic ApoE-/--mice via the PPAR? pathway.
Project description:<h4>Aims</h4>Recent evidence suggests that both Ccr7 and its ligands, Ccl19 and Ccl21, are present in mouse and human atherosclerotic plaques; however, the role of Ccr7 in atherogenesis is still controversial. Here, we addressed this question by using the classic apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE(-/-)) mouse model of atherosclerosis.<h4>Methods and results</h4>Ccr7(-/-)ApoE(-/-) double knockout mice and Ccr7(+/+)ApoE(-/-) littermates were generated and maintained on a high-fat Western diet for 8 weeks to induce atherosclerosis. Ccr7(-/-)ApoE(-/-) mice showed an ~80% increase in atherosclerotic lesion size in the whole aorta and a two-fold increase in the aortic root compared with Ccr7(+/+)ApoE(-/-) mice. Ccr7(-/-)ApoE(-/-) mice had increased T cells in the blood, bone marrow, and spleen, as well as in atherosclerotic lesions. Competitive repopulation experiments revealed that T cells from Ccr7(-/-)ApoE(-/-) mice migrated poorly into lymph nodes but better into mouse aortas compared with T cells from Ccr7(+/+)ApoE(-/-) mice. Transplantation of the bone marrow from Ccr7(-/-)ApoE(-/-) mice into lethally irradiated Ccr7(+/+)ApoE(-/-) mice resulted in ~60% more atherosclerotic lesions compared with Ccr7(+/+)ApoE(-/-) donor bone marrow, suggesting that exacerbation was mediated by a Ccr7(+) bone marrow-derived cell(s). Furthermore, in Ccr7(-/-)ApoE(-/-) mice the serum level of IL-12 was markedly increased, whereas the level of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-?) was significantly decreased, suggesting an imbalance of T cell responses in these mice.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our data suggest that genetic deletion of Ccr7 exacerbates atherosclerosis by increasing T cell accumulation in atherosclerotic lesions.