Increased atherosclerosis in mice with vascular ATP-binding cassette transporter G1 deficiency--brief report.
ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to investigate the role of vascular ATP-binding cassette transporter G1 (ABCG1) in atherogenesis without a confounding difference in macrophage ABCG1 expression. ABCG1 is highly expressed in macrophages and endothelial cells. ABCG1 preserves endothelial function by maintaining endothelial NO synthase activity and by reducing adhesion molecule expression and monocyte adhesion.To investigate the role of vascular ABCG1 in atherosclerosis in vivo Abcg1(-/-)/Ldlr(-/-) and Ldlr(-/-) mice were transplanted with wild-type bone marrow and fed a Western-type diet for 12 or 23 weeks. The atherosclerotic lesion area was similar in both groups after 12 weeks but was increased in Abcg1(-/-)/Ldlr(-/-) recipients after 23 weeks, especially in the aortic arch (2.2-fold; P<0.01). Endothelial NO synthase-mediated vascular relaxation was impaired in male Abcg1(-/-)/Ldlr(-/-) recipients.Our data show an atheroprotective role of vascular ABCG1, especially in the aortic arch, likely related to its role in the preservation of endothelial NO synthase activity.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Plasma high-density lipoproteins have several putative antiatherogenic effects, including preservation of endothelial functions. This is thought to be mediated, in part, by the ability of high-density lipoproteins to promote cholesterol efflux from endothelial cells (ECs). The ATP-binding cassette transporters A1 and G1 (ABCA1 and ABCG1) interact with high-density lipoproteins to promote cholesterol efflux from ECs. To determine the impact of endothelial cholesterol efflux pathways on atherogenesis, we prepared mice with endothelium-specific knockout of Abca1 and Abcg1. APPROACH AND RESULTS:Generation of mice with EC-ABCA1 and ABCG1 deficiency required crossbreeding Abca1(fl/fl)Abcg1(fl/fl)Ldlr(-/-) mice with the Tie2Cre strain, followed by irradiation and transplantation of Abca1(fl/fl)Abcg1(fl/fl) bone marrow to abrogate the effects of macrophage ABCA1 and ABCG1 deficiency induced by Tie2Cre. After 20 to 22 weeks of Western-type diet, both single EC-Abca1 and Abcg1 deficiency increased atherosclerosis in the aortic root and whole aorta. Combined EC-Abca1/g1 deficiency caused a significant further increase in lesion area at both sites. EC-Abca1/g1 deficiency dramatically enhanced macrophage lipid accumulation in the branches of the aorta that are exposed to disturbed blood flow, decreased aortic endothelial NO synthase activity, and increased monocyte infiltration into the atherosclerotic plaque. Abca1/g1 deficiency enhanced lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory gene expression in mouse aortic ECs, which was recapitulated by ABCG1 deficiency in human aortic ECs. CONCLUSIONS:These studies provide direct evidence that endothelial cholesterol efflux pathways mediated by ABCA1 and ABCG1 are nonredundant and atheroprotective, reflecting preservation of endothelial NO synthase activity and suppression of endothelial inflammation, especially in regions of disturbed arterial blood flow.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Activated endothelium and increased monocyte-endothelial interactions in the vessel wall are key early events in atherogenesis. ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporters play important roles in regulating sterol homeostasis in many cell types. Endothelial cells (EC) have a high capacity to efflux sterols and express the ABC transporter, ABCG1. Here, we define the role of ABCG1 in the regulation of lipid homeostasis and inflammation in aortic EC. METHODS AND RESULTS:Using EC isolated from ABCG1-deficient mice (ABCG1 KO), we observed reduced cholesterol efflux to high-density lipoprotein compared to C57BL/6 (B6) EC. However, total cholesteryl ester levels were not changed in ABCG1 KO EC. Secretions of KC, MCP-1, and IL-6 by ABCG1 KO EC were significantly increased, and surface expressions of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and E-selectin were increased several-fold on ABCG1 KO EC. Concomitant with these findings, we observed a 4-fold increase in monocyte adhesion to the intact aortic endothelium of ABCG1 KO mice ex vivo and to isolated aortic EC from these mice in vitro. In a gain-of-function study in vitro, restoration of ABCG1 expression in ABCG1 KO EC reduced monocyte-endothelial interactions. Utilizing pharmacological inhibitors for STAT3 and the IL-6 receptor, we found that blockade of STAT3 and IL-6 receptor signaling in ABCG1 KO EC completely abrogated monocyte adhesion to ABCG1 KO endothelium. CONCLUSIONS:ABCG1 deficiency in aortic endothelial cells activates endothelial IL-6-IL-6 receptor-STAT3 signaling, thereby increasing monocyte-endothelial interactions and vascular inflammation.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To test the hypothesis that loss of IL-19 (interleukin-19) exacerbates atherosclerosis. APPROACH AND RESULTS: Il19-/- mice were crossed into Ldlr-/- (low-density lipoprotein receptor knock out) mice. Double knockout (dKO) mice had increased plaque burden in aortic arch and root compared with Ldlr-/- controls after 14 weeks of high-fat diet (HFD). dKO mice injected with 10 ng/g per day rmIL-19 had significantly less plaque compared with controls. qRT-PCR and Western blot analysis revealed dKO mice had increased systemic and intraplaque polarization of T cells and macrophages to proinflammatory Th1 and M1 phenotypes, and also significantly increased TNF (tumor necrosis factor)-? expression in spleen and aortic arch compared with Ldlr-/- controls. Bone marrow transplantation suggests that immune cells participate in IL-19 protection. Bone marrow-derived macrophages and vascular smooth muscle cells isolated from dKO mice had a significantly greater expression of inflammatory cytokine mRNA and protein compared with controls. Spleen and aortic arch from dKO mice had significantly increased expression of the mRNA stability protein HuR (human antigen R). Bone marrow-derived macrophage and vascular smooth muscle cell isolated from dKO mice also had greater HuR abundance. HuR stabilizes proinflammatory transcripts by binding AU-rich elements in the 3' untranslated region. Cytokine and HuR mRNA stability were increased in dKO bone marrow-derived macrophage and vascular smooth muscle cell, which was rescued by addition of IL-19 to these cells. IL-19-induced expression of miR133a, which targets and reduced HuR abundance; miR133a levels were lower in dKO mice compared with controls. CONCLUSIONS:These data indicate that IL-19 is an atheroprotective cytokine which decreases the abundance of HuR, leading to reduced inflammatory mRNA stability.
Project description:The microbiota has been linked to the development of atherosclerosis, but the functional impact of these resident bacteria on the lesion size and cellular composition of atherosclerotic plaques in the aorta has never been experimentally addressed with the germ-free low-density lipoprotein receptor-deficient (Ldlr-/- ) mouse atherosclerosis model. Here, we report that 16 weeks of high-fat diet (HFD) feeding of hypercholesterolemic Ldlr-/- mice at germ-free (GF) housing conditions did not impact relative aortic root plaque size, macrophage content, and necrotic core area. Likewise, we did not find changes in the relative aortic arch lesion size. However, late atherosclerotic GF Ldlr-/- mice had altered inflammatory plasma protein markers and reduced smooth muscle cell content in their atherosclerotic root plaques relative to CONV-R Ldlr-/- mice. Neither absolute nor relative aortic root or aortic arch plaque size correlated with age. Our analyses on GF Ldlr-/- mice did not reveal a significant contribution of the microbiota in late aortic atherosclerosis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Atherosclerosis is driven by synergistic interactions between pathological, biomechanical, inflammatory, and lipid metabolic factors. Our previous studies demonstrated that absence of caveolin-1 (Cav1)/caveolae in hyperlipidemic mice strongly inhibits atherosclerosis, which was attributed to activation of endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthase (eNOS) and increased production of NO and reduced inflammation and low-density lipoprotein trafficking. However, the contribution of eNOS activation and NO production in the athero-protection of Cav1 and the exact mechanisms by which Cav1/caveolae control the pathogenesis of diet-induced atherosclerosis are still not clear. METHODS:Triple-knockout mouse lacking expression of eNOS, Cav1, and Ldlr were generated to explore the role of NO production in Cav1-dependent athero-protective function. The effects of Cav1 on lipid trafficking, extracellular matrix remodeling, and vascular inflammation were studied both in vitro and in vivo with a mouse model of diet-induced atherosclerosis. The expression of Cav1 and distribution of caveolae regulated by flow were analyzed by immunofluorescence staining and transmission electron microscopy. RESULTS:We found that absence of Cav1 significantly suppressed atherogenesis in Ldlr-/-eNOS-/- mice, demonstrating that athero-suppression is independent of increased NO production. Instead, we find that the absence of Cav1/caveolae inhibited low-density lipoprotein transport across the endothelium and proatherogenic fibronectin deposition and disturbed flow-mediated endothelial cell inflammation. Consistent with the idea that Cav1/caveolae may play a role in early flow-dependent inflammatory priming, distinct patterns of Cav1 expression and caveolae distribution were observed in athero-prone and athero-resistant areas of the aortic arch even in wild-type mice. CONCLUSIONS:These findings support a role for Cav1/caveolae as a central regulator of atherosclerosis that links biomechanical, metabolic, and inflammatory pathways independently of endothelial eNOS activation and NO production.
Project description:Gene expression profiles from the aortic arch of Ldlr-/-Apob100/100 Mttpflox/flox Mx1-Cre mice at different stages of atherosclerosis development Total RNAs from the aortic arch were collected at different time points during atherosclerosis development (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 weeks of age), 4-7 mice per time point.
Project description:We investigated atheroprotective properties of apolipoprotein (apo) E beyond its ability to lower plasma cholesterol. We hypothesized that apoE reduces atherosclerosis by decreasing lipid accumulation in circulating monocytes and the inflammatory state of monocytes and the vascular endothelium.We developed mice with spontaneous hyperlipidemia with and without plasma apoE. Hypomorphic apoE mice deficient in low-density lipoprotein receptor (Apoe(h/h)Ldlr(-/-)) were compared to Apoe(-/-)Ldlr(-/-) mice. Despite 4-fold more plasma apoE than WT mice, Apoe(h/h)Ldlr(-/-) mice displayed similar plasma cholesterol as Apoe(-/-) Ldlr(-/-) mice but developed 4-fold less atherosclerotic lesions by 5 months of age. The aortic arch of Apoe(h/h)Ldlr(-/-) mice showed decreased endothelial expression of ICAM-1, PECAM-1, and JAM-A. In addition, Apoe(h/h)Ldlr(-/-) mice had less circulating leukocytes and proinflammatory Ly6C(high) monocytes. These monocytes had decreased neutral lipid content and reduced surface expression of ICAM-1, VLA-4, and L-Selectin. Apoe(h/h)Ldlr(-/-) mice displayed increased levels of apoA1-rich HDL that were potent in promoting cellular cholesterol efflux.Our findings suggest that apoE reduces atherosclerosis in the setting of hyperlipidemia by increasing plasma apoA1-HDL that likely contribute to reduce intracellular lipid accumulation and thereby the activation of circulating leukocytes and the vascular endothelium.
Project description:Enhanced activation of the mineralocorticoid receptors (MRs) in cardiovascular tissues increases oxidative stress, maladaptive immune responses, and inflammation with associated functional vascular abnormalities. We previously demonstrated that consumption of a Western diet (WD) for 16 weeks results in aortic stiffening, and that these abnormalities were prevented by systemic MR blockade in female mice. However, the cell-specific role of endothelial cell MR (ECMR) in these maladaptive vascular effects has not been explored.We hypothesized that specific deletion of the ECMR would prevent WD-induced increases in endothelial sodium channel activation, reductions in bioavailable nitric oxide, increased vascular remodeling, and associated increases in vascular stiffness in females.Four-week-old female ECMR knockout and wild-type mice were fed either mouse chow or WD for 16 weeks. WD feeding resulted in aortic stiffness and endothelial dysfunction as determined in vivo by pulse wave velocity and ex vivo by atomic force microscopy, and wire and pressure myography. The WD-induced aortic stiffness was associated with enhanced endothelial sodium channel activation, attenuated endothelial nitric oxide synthase activation, increased oxidative stress, a proinflammatory immune response and fibrosis. Conversely, cell-specific ECMR deficiency prevented WD-induced aortic fibrosis and stiffness in conjunction with reductions in endothelial sodium channel activation, oxidative stress and macrophage proinflammatory polarization, restoration of endothelial nitric oxide synthase activation.Increased ECMR signaling associated with consumption of a WD plays a key role in endothelial sodium channel activation, reduced nitric oxide production, oxidative stress, and inflammation that lead to aortic remodeling and stiffness in female mice.
Project description:To investigate whether cholesterol efflux to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) via ATP-binding cassette transporter G1 (ABCG1) modulates the interaction of caveolin (Cav) 1 and endothelial NO synthase (eNOS).ABCG1 promotes cholesterol and 7-oxysterol efflux from endothelial cells (ECs) to HDL. It was previously reported that ABCG1 protects against dietary cholesterol-induced endothelial dysfunction by promoting the efflux of 7-oxysterols to HDL. Increased cholesterol loading in ECs is known to cause an inhibitory interaction between Cav-1 and eNOS and impaired NO release. In human aortic ECs, free cholesterol loading promoted the interaction of Cav-1 with eNOS, reducing eNOS activity. These effects of cholesterol loading were reversed by HDL in an ABCG1-dependent manner. HDL also reversed the inhibition of eNOS by cholesterol loading in murine lung ECs, but this effect of HDL was abolished in Cav-1-deficient murine lung ECs. Increased interaction of Cav-1 with eNOS was also detected in aortic homogenates of high-cholesterol diet-fed Abcg1(-/-) mice, paralleling a decrease in eNOS activity and impaired endothelial function.The promotion of cholesterol efflux via ABCG1 results in a reduced inhibitory interaction of eNOS with Cav-1.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:PAR2 (protease-activated receptor 2)-dependent signaling results in augmented inflammation and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several autoimmune conditions. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of PAR2 deficiency on the development of atherosclerosis. APPROACH AND RESULTS:PAR2 mRNA and protein expression is increased in human carotid artery and mouse aortic arch atheroma versus control carotid and aortic arch arteries, respectively. To determine the effect of PAR2 deficiency on atherosclerosis, male and female low-density lipoprotein receptor-deficient (Ldlr-/-) mice (8-12 weeks old) that were Par2+/+ or Par2-/- were fed a fat- and cholesterol-enriched diet for 12 or 24 weeks. PAR2 deficiency attenuated atherosclerosis in the aortic sinus and aortic root after 12 and 24 weeks. PAR2 deficiency did not alter total plasma cholesterol concentrations or lipoprotein distributions. Bone marrow transplantation showed that PAR2 on nonhematopoietic cells contributed to atherosclerosis. PAR2 deficiency significantly attenuated levels of the chemokines Ccl2 and Cxcl1 in the circulation and macrophage content in atherosclerotic lesions. Mechanistic studies using isolated primary vascular smooth muscle cells showed that PAR2 deficiency is associated with reduced Ccl2 and Cxcl1 mRNA expression and protein release into the supernatant resulting in less monocyte migration. CONCLUSIONS:Our results indicate that PAR2 deficiency is associated with attenuation of atherosclerosis and may reduce lesion progression by blunting Ccl2- and Cxcl1-induced monocyte infiltration.