Macrophage Mal1 deficiency suppresses atherosclerosis in low-density lipoprotein receptor-null mice by activating peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-?-regulated genes.
ABSTRACT: The adipocyte/macrophage fatty acid-binding proteins aP2 (FABP4) and Mal1 (FABP5) are intracellular lipid chaperones that modulate systemic glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and atherosclerosis. Combined deficiency of aP2 and Mal1 has been shown to reduce the development of atherosclerosis, but the independent role of macrophage Mal1 expression in atherogenesis remains unclear.We transplanted wild-type (WT), Mal1(-/-), or aP2(-/-) bone marrow into low-density lipoprotein receptor-null (LDLR(-/-)) mice and fed them a Western diet for 8 weeks. Mal1(-/-)?LDLR(-/-) mice had significantly reduced (36%) atherosclerosis in the proximal aorta compared with control WT?LDLR(-/-) mice. Interestingly, peritoneal macrophages isolated from Mal1-deficient mice displayed increased peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-? (PPAR?) activity and upregulation of a PPAR?-related cholesterol trafficking gene, CD36. Mal1(-/-) macrophages showed suppression of inflammatory genes, such as COX2 and interleukin 6. Mal1(-/-)?LDLR(-/-) mice had significantly decreased macrophage numbers in the aortic atherosclerotic lesions compared with WT?LDLR(-/-) mice, suggesting that monocyte recruitment may be impaired. Indeed, blood monocytes isolated from Mal1(-/-)?LDLR(-/-) mice on a high-fat diet had decreased CC chemokine receptor 2 gene and protein expression levels compared with WT monocytes.Taken together, our results demonstrate that Mal1 plays a proatherogenic role by suppressing PPAR? activity, which increases expression of CC chemokine receptor 2 by monocytes, promoting their recruitment to atherosclerotic lesions.
Project description:Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? (PPAR?) is widely expressed in vessel walls, and it's activation by agonists showed beneficial effects in cardiovascular diseases. However, the role of endothelial cell (EC) PPAR? in atherogenesis is not fully understood.To assess the contribution of endothelial-specific PPAR? in atherosclerosis, EC-specific PPAR? disruption and LDL receptor (LDLR) double-knockout (PPAR?(?EC)/LDLR(-/-)) mice were developed. When challenged with a high-cholesterol diet for 4 weeks, PPAR?(?EC)/LDLR(-/-) mice exhibited severe atherosclerotic lesions compared to either their littermate controls or macrophage-specific PPAR? disruption and LDLR double knockout (PPAR?(?M?)/LDLR(-/-)) mice. Metabolic analysis showed severe dyslipidemia and significant increase in systolic blood pressure in the PPAR?(?EC)/LDLR(-/-) mice. Histological analysis and real-time quantitative PCR suggested an exacerbated inflammation in PPAR?(?EC)/LDLR(-/-) mice, as revealed by the increases of proinflammatory gene expression and macrophage infiltration in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, in vivo endothelial permeability was also increased by endothelial PPAR? disruption. Bone-marrow transplantation studies, which reconstituted hematopoietic PPAR?, demonstrated that the accelerated atherogenesis was due to endothelial PPAR? deficiency.Endothelial PPAR? plays an important protective role in atherogenesis.
Project description:Macrophages play crucial roles in the formation of atherosclerotic lesions. Akt, a serine/threonine protein kinase B, is vital for cell proliferation, migration, and survival. Macrophages express three Akt isoforms, Akt1, Akt2, and Akt3, but the roles of Akt1 and Akt2 in atherosclerosis in vivo remain unclear. To dissect the impact of macrophage Akt1 and Akt2 on early atherosclerosis, we generated mice with hematopoietic deficiency of Akt1 or Akt2. After 8 weeks on Western diet, Ldlr(-/-) mice reconstituted with Akt1(-/-) fetal liver cells (Akt1(-/-)?Ldlr(-/-)) had similar atherosclerotic lesion areas compared with control mice transplanted with WT cells (WT?Ldlr(-/-)). In contrast, Akt2(-/-)?Ldlr(-/-) mice had dramatically reduced atherosclerotic lesions compared with WT?Ldlr(-/-) mice of both genders. Similarly, in the setting of advanced atherosclerotic lesions, Akt2(-/-)?Ldlr(-/-) mice had smaller aortic lesions compared with WT?Ldlr(-/-) and Akt1(-/-)?Ldlr(-/-) mice. Importantly, Akt2(-/-)?Ldlr(-/-) mice had reduced numbers of proinflammatory blood monocytes expressing Ly-6C(hi) and chemokine C-C motif receptor 2. Peritoneal macrophages isolated from Akt2(-/-) mice were skewed toward an M2 phenotype and showed decreased expression of proinflammatory genes and reduced cell migration. Our data demonstrate that loss of Akt2 suppresses the ability of macrophages to undergo M1 polarization reducing both early and advanced 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:RATIONALE:Sphingomyelin synthase (SMS)2 contributes to de novo sphingomyelin (SM) biosynthesis and plasma membrane SM levels. SMS2 deficiency in macrophages diminishes nuclear factor kappaB and mitogen-activated protein kinase activation induced by inflammatory stimuli. OBJECTIVE:The effects of SMS2 deficiency on the development of atherosclerosis are investigated. METHODS AND RESULTS:We measured cholesterol efflux from macrophages of wild-type (WT) and SMS2 knockout (KO) mice. We transplanted SMS2 KO mouse bone marrow into low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor (LDLr) knockout mice (SMS2(-/-)-->LDLr(-/-)), creating a mouse model of SMS2 deficiency in the macrophages. We found that SMS2 deficiency caused significant induction of cholesterol efflux in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, we found that SMS2 KO mice had less interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha in the circulation before and after endotoxin stimulation, compared with controls. More importantly, after 3 months on a western-type diet, SMS2(-/-)-->LDLr(-/-) mice showed decreased atherosclerotic lesions in the aortic arch, root (57%, P<0.001), and the entire aorta (42%, P<0.01), compared with WT-->LDLr(-/-) mice. Analysis of plaque morphology revealed that SMS2(-/-)-->LDLr(-/-) mice had significantly less necrotic core area (71%, P<0.001), less macrophage content (37%, P<0.01), and more collagen content (35%, P<0.05) in atherosclerotic lesions. We also found that SMS2(-/-)-->LDLr(-/-) mice had significantly lower free cholesterol and cholesteryl ester levels in the brachiocephalic artery than WT-->LDLr(-/-) mice (33 and 52%, P<0.01 and P<0.001, respectively). CONCLUSIONS:SMS2 deficiency in the macrophages reduces atherosclerosis in mice. Macrophage SMS2 is thus a potential therapeutic target for treatment of this disease.
Project description:Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease regulated by infiltrating monocytes and T cells, among other cell types. Macrophage recruitment to atherosclerotic lesions is controlled by monocyte infiltration into plaques. Once in the lesion, macrophage proliferation in situ, apoptosis, and differentiation to an inflammatory (M1) or anti-inflammatory phenotype (M2) are involved in progression to advanced atherosclerotic lesions. We studied the role of phosphoinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) p110? in the regulation of in situ apoptosis, macrophage proliferation and polarization towards M1 or M2 phenotypes in atherosclerotic lesions. We analyzed atherosclerosis development in LDLR(-/-)p110?(+/-) and LDLR(-/-)p110?(-/-) mice, and performed expression and functional assays in tissues and primary cells from these and from p110?(+/-) and p110?(-/-) mice. Lack of p110? in LDLR(-/-) mice reduces the atherosclerosis burden. Atherosclerotic lesions in fat-fed LDLR(-/-)p110?(-/-) mice were smaller than in LDLR(-/-)p110?(+/-) controls, which coincided with decreased macrophage proliferation in LDLR(-/-)p110?(-/-) mouse lesions. This proliferation defect was also observed in p110?(-/-) bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMM) stimulated with macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF), and was associated with higher intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels. In contrast, T cell proliferation was unaffected in LDLR(-/-)p110?(-/-) mice. Moreover, p110? deficiency did not affect macrophage polarization towards the M1 or M2 phenotypes or apoptosis in atherosclerotic plaques, or polarization in cultured BMM. Our results suggest that higher cAMP levels and the ensuing inhibition of macrophage proliferation contribute to atheroprotection in LDLR(-/-) mice lacking p110?. Nonetheless, p110? deletion does not appear to be involved in apoptosis, in macrophage polarization or in T cell proliferation.
Project description:The male sex has a higher risk to develop coronary artery diseases, including atherosclerosis. The androgen receptor (AR) is expressed in several atherosclerosis-associated cell types, including monocytes/macrophages, endothelial cells (ECs), and smooth muscle cells (SMCs), but its pathophysiological role in each cell type during the development of atherosclerotic lesions remains unclear. Using the Cre-loxP system, we selectively knocked out AR in these 3 cell types and the resultant AR knockout (ARKO) mice, monocyte/macrophage ARKO, EC-ARKO, and SMC-ARKO, were then crossed with the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) deficient (LDLR(-/-)) mice to develop monocyte/macrophage ARKO-LDLR(-/-), EC-ARKO-LDLR(-/-), and SMC-ARKO-LDLR(-/-) mice for the study of atherosclerosis. The results showed that the monocyte/macrophage ARKO-LDLR(-/-) mice had reduced atherosclerosis compared with the wild-type-LDLR(-/-) control mice. However, no significant difference was detected in EC-ARKO-LDLR(-/-) and SMC-ARKO-LDLR(-/-) mice compared with wild-type-LDLR(-/-) mice, suggesting that the AR in monocytes/macrophages, and not in ECs and SMCs, plays a major role to promote atherosclerosis. Molecular mechanism dissection suggested that AR in monocytes/macrophages upregulated the tumor necrosis factor-?, integrin ?2, and lectin-type oxidized LDL receptor 1 molecules that are involved in 3 major inflammation-related processes in atherosclerosis, including monocytes/macrophages migration and adhesion to human umbilical vein ECs, and subsequent foam cell formation. Targeting AR via the AR degradation enhancer, ASC-J9, in wild-type-LDLR(-/-) mice showed similar effects as seen in monocyte/macrophage ARKO-LDLR(-/-) mice with little influence on lipid profile. In conclusion, the AR in monocytes/macrophages plays key roles in atherosclerosis and targeting AR with ASC-J9 may represent a new potential therapeutic approach to battle atherosclerosis.
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:Elevated serum low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is a risk factor for atherosclerotic disorders. However, prominent atherosclerosis, which has been observed in LDL receptor (LDLR)-knockout mice, has diminished the significance of LDLR as a cause of atherosclerosis, while elaborate studies have focused on the receptors for denatured LDL. Here we report that native LDL (nLDL) activates vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor 1 (VEGFR1) but not VEGFR2 through LDLR and is as potent as VEGF in macrophage migration. Binding and co-endocytosis of VEGFR1 and LDLR were enhanced by nLDL, which is concomitant with ubiquitination-mediated degradation of VEGFR1. We propose that LDLR-mediated use of VEGFR1 by nLDL could be a potential therapeutic target in atherosclerotic disorders.
Project description:Recent genome-wide association studies revealed that a genetic variant in the loci corresponding to histone deacetylase 9 (HDAC9) is associated with large vessel stroke. HDAC9 expression was upregulated in human atherosclerotic plaques in different arteries. The molecular mechanisms how HDAC9 might increase atherosclerosis is not clear.In this study, we show that systemic and bone marrow cell deletion of HDAC9 decreased atherosclerosis in LDLr(-/-) (low density lipoprotein receptor) mice with minimal effect on plasma lipid concentrations. HDAC9 deletion resulted upregulation of lipid homeostatic genes, downregulation of inflammatory genes, and polarization toward an M2 phenotype via increased accumulation of total acetylated H3 and H3K9 at the promoters of ABCA1 (ATP-binding cassette transporter), ABCG1, and PPAR-? (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor) in macrophages.We conclude that macrophage HDAC9 upregulation is atherogenic via suppression of cholesterol efflux and generation of alternatively activated macrophages in atherosclerosis.
Project description:Objective- Inflammatory stimuli enhance the progression of atherosclerotic disease. Inflammation also increases the expression of hepcidin, a hormonal regulator of iron homeostasis, which decreases intestinal iron absorption, reduces serum iron levels and traps iron within macrophages. The role of macrophage iron in the development of atherosclerosis remains incompletely understood. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of hepcidin deficiency and decreased macrophage iron on the development of atherosclerosis. Approach and Results- Hepcidin- and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) receptor-deficient ( Hamp-/-/ Ldlr-/-) mice and Hamp+/+/ Ldlr-/- control mice were fed a high-fat diet for 21 weeks. Compared with control mice, Hamp-/-/ Ldlr-/- mice had decreased aortic macrophage activity and atherosclerosis. Because hepcidin deficiency is associated with both increased serum iron and decreased macrophage iron, the possibility that increased serum iron was responsible for decreased atherosclerosis in Hamp-/-/ Ldlr-/- mice was considered. Hamp+/+/ Ldlr-/- mice were treated with iron dextran so as to produce a 2-fold increase in serum iron. Increased serum iron did not decrease atherosclerosis in Hamp+/+/ Ldlr-/- mice. Aortic macrophages from Hamp-/-/ Ldlr-/- mice had less labile free iron and exhibited a reduced proinflammatory (M1) phenotype compared with macrophages from Hamp+/+/ Ldlr-/- mice. THP1 human macrophages treated with an iron chelator were used to model hepcidin deficiency in vitro. Treatment with an iron chelator reduced LPS (lipopolysaccharide)-induced M1 phenotypic expression and decreased uptake of oxidized LDL. Conclusions- In summary, in a hyperlipidemic mouse model, hepcidin deficiency was associated with decreased macrophage iron, a reduced aortic macrophage inflammatory phenotype and protection from atherosclerosis. The results indicate that decreasing hepcidin activity, with the resulting decrease in macrophage iron, may prove to be a novel strategy for the treatment of atherosclerosis.