5-(4-Hydroxy-2,3,5-trimethylbenzylidene) thiazolidine-2,4-dione attenuates atherosclerosis possibly by reducing monocyte recruitment to the lesion.
ABSTRACT: A variety of benzylidenethiazole analogs have been demonstrated to inhibit 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX). Here we report the anti-atherogenic potential of 5-(4-hydroxy- 2,3,5-trimethylbenzylidene) thiazolidin-2,4-dione (HMB-TZD), a benzylidenethiazole analog, and its potential mechanism of action in LDL receptor-deficient (Ldlr-/-) mice. HMB-TZD Treatment reduced leukotriene B4 (LTB4) production significantly in RAW264.7 macrophages and SVEC4-10 endothelial cells. Macrophages or endothelial cells pre-incubated with HMB-TZD for 2 h and then stimulated with lipopolysaccharide or tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-?) displayed reduced cytokine production. Also, HMB-TZD reduced cell migration and adhesion in accordance with decreased proinflammatory molecule production in vitro and ex vivo. HMB-TZD treatment of 8-week-old male Ldlr-/- mice resulted in significantly reduced atherosclerotic lesions without a change to plasma lipid profiles. Moreover, aortic expression of pro-atherogenic molecules involved in the recruitment of monocytes to the aortic wall, including TNF-? , MCP-1, and VCAM-1, was downregulated. HMB-TZD also reduced macrophage infiltration into atherosclerotic lesions. In conclusion, HMB-TZD ameliorates atherosclerotic lesion formation possibly by reducing the expression of proinflammatory molecules and monocyte/macrophage recruitment to the lesion. These results suggest that HMB-TZD, and benzylidenethiazole analogs in general, may have therapeutic potential as treatments for atherosclerosis.
Project description:High blood pressure and reduced aortic compliance are associated with increased atherosclerotic plaque accumulation in humans. Animal studies support these associations, but additional factors, such as fragmented elastic fibers, are present in most previous animal studies. Elastin heterozygous (Eln+/-) mice have high blood pressure and reduced aortic compliance, with no evidence of elastic fiber fragmentation and represent an appropriate model to directly investigate the effects of these factors on atherosclerosis.Eln+/- and Eln+/+ mice were crossed with low density lipoprotein receptor knockout (Ldlr-/-) and wild-type (Ldlr+/+) mice and fed normal or Western diet (WD) for 16 weeks. We hypothesized that on WD, Eln+/-Ldlr-/- mice with high blood pressure and reduced aortic compliance would have increased atherosclerotic plaque accumulation compared to Eln+/+Ldlr-/- mice. We measured serum cholesterol and cytokine levels, blood pressure, aortic compliance, and plaque accumulation. Contrary to our hypothesis, we found that on WD, Eln+/-Ldlr-/- mice do not have increased plaque accumulation compared to Eln+/+Ldlr-/- mice. At the aortic root, there are no significant differences in plaque area between Eln+/-Ldlr-/- and Eln+/+Ldlr-/- mice on WD (p = 0.89), while in the ascending aorta, Eln+/-Ldlr-/- mice on WD have 29% less normalized plaque area than Eln+/+Ldlr-/- mice on WD (p = 0.009).Using an atherogenic mouse model, we conclude that increased blood pressure and reduced aortic compliance are not direct causes of increased aortic plaque accumulation. We propose that additional insults, such as fragmentation of elastic fibers, are necessary to alter plaque accumulation.
Project description:Exposure to ambient particulate matter (PM) is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. The redox-active ultrafine particles (UFPs) promote vascular oxidative stress and inflammatory responses. We hypothesized that UFPs modulated lipid metabolism and anti-oxidant capacity of high density lipoprotein (HDL) with an implication in atherosclerotic lesion size. Fat-fed low density lipoprotein receptor-null (LDLR?/? mice were exposed to filtered air (FA) or UFPs for 10 weeks with or without administering an apolipoprotein A-I mimetic peptide made of D-amino acids, D-4F. LDLR?/? mice exposed to UFPs developed a reduced plasma HDL level (P < 0.01), paraoxonase activity (P < 0.01), and HDL anti-oxidant capacity (P < 0.05); but increased LDL oxidation, free oxidized fatty acids, triglycerides, serum amyloid A (P < 0.05), and tumor necrosis factor ? (P < 0.05), accompanied by a 62% increase in the atherosclerotic lesion ratio of the en face aortic staining and a 220% increase in the cross-sectional lesion area of the aortic sinus (P < 0.001). D-4F administration significantly attenuated these changes. UFP exposure promoted pro-atherogenic lipid metabolism and reduced HDL anti-oxidant capacity in fat-fed LDLR?/? mice, associated with a greater atherosclerotic lesion size compared with FA-exposed animals. D-4F attenuated UFP-mediated pro-atherogenic effects, suggesting the role of lipid oxidation underlying UFP-mediated atherosclerosis.
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:Inflammation is a major contributor to the development of atherosclerotic plaque, yet the involvement of liver and visceral adipose tissue inflammatory status in atherosclerotic lesion development has yet to be fully elucidated. We hypothesized that an atherogenic diet would increase inflammatory response and lipid accumulation in the liver and gonadal adipose tissue (GAT) and would correlate with systemic inflammation and aortic lesion formation in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor null (LDLr-/-) mice. For 32 weeks, LDLr-/- mice (n = 10/group) were fed either an atherogenic (high saturated fat and cholesterol) or control (low fat and cholesterol) diet. Hepatic and GAT lipid content and expression of inflammatory factors were measured using standard procedures. Compared with the control diet, the atherogenic diet significantly increased hepatic triglyceride and total cholesterol (TC), primarily esterified cholesterol, and GAT triglyceride content. These changes were accompanied by increased expression of acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain family member 5, CD36, ATP-binding cassette, subfamily A, member 1 and scavenger receptor B class 1, and they decreased the expression of cytochrome P450, family 7 and subfamily a, polypeptide 1 in GAT. Aortic TC content was positively associated with hepatic TC, triglyceride, and GAT triglyceride contents as well as plasma interleukin 6 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 concentrations. Although when compared with the control diet, the atherogenic diet increased hepatic tumor necrosis factor ? production, they were not associated with aortic TC content. These data suggest that the LDLr-/- mice responded to the atherogenic diet by increasing lipid accumulation in the liver and GAT, which may have increased inflammatory response. Aortic TC content was positively associated with systemic inflammation but not hepatic and GAT inflammatory status.
Project description:Calcification and fibrosis reduce vascular compliance in arteriosclerosis. To better understand the role of osteopontin (OPN), a multifunctional protein upregulated in diabetic arteries, we evaluated contributions of OPN in male low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR)-/- mice fed a high-fat diet.OPN had no impact on high-fat diet-induced hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, or body composition. However, OPN-/-;LDLR-/- mice exhibited an altered time-course of aortic calcium accrual-reduced during initiation but increased with progression-versus OPN+/+;LDLR-/- controls. Collagen accumulation, chondroid metaplasia, and mural thickness were increased in aortas of OPN-/-;LDLR-/- mice. Aortic compliance was concomitantly reduced. Vascular reexpression of OPN (SM22-OPN transgene) reduced aortic Col2A1 and medial chondroid metaplasia but did not affect atherosclerotic calcification, Col1A1 expression, collagen accumulation, or arterial stiffness. Dosing with the proinflammatory OPN fragment SVVYGLR upregulated aortic Wnt and osteogenic gene expression, increased aortic ?-catenin, and restored early-phase aortic calcification in OPN-/-;LDLR-/- mice.OPN exerts stage-specific roles in arteriosclerosis in LDLR-/- mice. Actions phenocopied by the OPN metabolite SVVYGLR promote osteogenic calcification processes with disease initiation. OPN limits vascular chondroid metaplasia, endochondral mineralization, and collagen accumulation with progression. Complete deficiency yields a net increase in arteriosclerotic disease, reducing aortic compliance and conduit vessel function in LDLR-/- mice.
Project description:Atherosclerotic plaque development depends on chronic inflammation of the arterial wall. A dysbiotic gut microbiota can cause low-grade inflammation, and microbiota composition was linked to cardiovascular disease risk. However, the role of this environmental factor in atherothrombosis remains undefined. To analyze the impact of gut microbiota on atherothrombosis, we rederived low-density lipoprotein receptor-deficient (Ldlr-/- ) mice as germfree (GF) and kept these mice for 16?weeks on an atherogenic high-fat Western diet (HFD) under GF isolator conditions and under conventionally raised specific-pathogen-free conditions (CONV-R). In spite of reduced diversity of the cecal gut microbiome, caused by atherogenic HFD, GF Ldlr-/- mice and CONV-R Ldlr-/- mice exhibited atherosclerotic lesions of comparable sizes in the common carotid artery. In contrast to HFD-fed mice, showing no difference in total cholesterol levels, CONV-R Ldlr-/- mice fed control diet (CD) had significantly reduced total plasma cholesterol, very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), and LDL levels compared with GF Ldlr-/- mice. Myeloid cell counts in blood as well as leukocyte adhesion to the vessel wall at the common carotid artery of GF Ldlr-/- mice on HFD were diminished compared to CONV-R Ldlr-/- controls. Plasma cytokine profiling revealed reduced levels of the proinflammatory chemokines CCL7 and CXCL1 in GF Ldlr-/- mice, whereas the T-cell-related interleukin 9 (IL-9) and IL-27 were elevated. In the atherothrombosis model of ultrasound-induced rupture of the common carotid artery plaque, thrombus area was significantly reduced in GF Ldlr-/- mice relative to CONV-R Ldlr-/- mice. Ex vivo, this atherothrombotic phenotype was explained by decreased adhesion-dependent platelet activation and thrombus growth of HFD-fed GF Ldlr-/- mice on type III collagen.IMPORTANCE Our results demonstrate a functional role for the commensal microbiota in atherothrombosis. In a ferric chloride injury model of the carotid artery, GF C57BL/6J mice had increased occlusion times compared to colonized controls. Interestingly, in late atherosclerosis, HFD-fed GF Ldlr-/- mice had reduced plaque rupture-induced thrombus growth in the carotid artery and diminished ex vivo thrombus formation under arterial flow conditions.
Project description:Studies in animals showed that PCSK9 is involved in HDL metabolism. We investigated the molecular mechanism by which PCSK9 regulates HDL cholesterol concentration and also whether Pcsk9 inactivation might affect cholesterol efflux capacity of serum and atherosclerotic fatty streak volume.Mass spectrometry and western blot were used to analyze the level of apolipoprotein E (APOE) and A1 (APOA1). A mouse model overexpressing human LDLR was used to test the effect of high levels of liver LDLR on the concentration of HDL cholesterol and APOE-containing HDL subfractions. Pcsk9 knockout males lacking LDLR and APOE were used to test whether LDLR and APOE are necessary for PCSK9-mediated HDL cholesterol regulation. We also investigated the effects of Pcsk9 inactivation on cholesterol efflux capacity of serum using THP-1 and J774.A1 macrophage foam cells and atherosclerotic fatty streak volume in the aortic sinus of Pcsk9 knockout males fed an atherogenic diet.APOE and APOA1 were reduced in the same HDL subfractions of Pcsk9 knockout and human LDLR transgenic male mice. In Pcsk9/Ldlr double-knockout mice, HDL cholesterol concentration was lower than in Ldlr knockout mice and higher than in wild-type controls. In Pcsk9/Apoe double-knockout mice, HDL cholesterol concentration was similar to that of Apoe knockout males. In Pcsk9 knockout males, THP-1 macrophage cholesterol efflux capacity of serum was reduced and the fatty streak lesion volume was similar to wild-type controls.In mice, LDLR and APOE are important factors for PCSK9-mediated HDL regulation. Our data suggest that, although LDLR plays a major role in PCSK9-mediated regulation of HDL cholesterol concentration, it is not the only mechanism and that, regardless of mechanism, APOE is essential. Pcsk9 inactivation decreases the HDL cholesterol concentration and cholesterol efflux capacity in serum, but does not increase atherosclerotic fatty streak volume.
Project description:Both reductions in atherogenic lipoproteins and increases in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels may affect atherosclerosis regression. Here, the relative potential of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) lowering and HDL raising gene transfer strategies to induce regression of complex murine atherosclerotic lesions was directly compared. Male C57BL/6 LDL receptor (LDLr)(-/-) mice were fed an atherogenic diet (1.25% cholesterol and 10% coconut oil) to induce advanced atherosclerotic lesions. A baseline group was killed after 6 months and remaining mice were randomized into a control progression (Adnull or saline), an apolipoprotein (apo) A-I (AdA-I), an LDLr (AdLDLr), or a combined apo A-I/LDLr (AdA-I/AdLDLr) adenoviral gene transfer group and followed-up for another 12 weeks with continuation of the atherogenic diet. Gene transfer with AdLDLr decreased non-HDL cholesterol levels persistently by 95% (p < 0.001) compared with baseline. This drastic reduction of non-HDL cholesterol levels induced lesion regression by 28% (p < 0.001) in the aortic root and by 25% (p < 0.05) in the brachiocephalic artery at 12 weeks after transfer. Change in lesion size was accompanied by enhanced plaque stability, as evidenced by increased collagen content, reduced lesional macrophage content, a drastic reduction of necrotic core area, and decreased expression of inflammatory genes. Elevated HDL cholesterol following AdA-I transfer increased collagen content in lesions, but did not induce regression. Apo A-I gene transfer on top of AdLDLr transfer resulted in additive effects, particularly on inflammatory gene expression. In conclusion, drastic lipid lowering induced by a powerful gene transfer strategy leads to pronounced regression and stabilization of advanced murine 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:AIM: To investigate the effects of darapladib, a specific inhibitor of lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (lp-PLA2), on inflammation and atherosclerotic formation in the low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR)-deficient mice. METHODS: Six-week-old LDLR-deficient mice were fed an atherogenic high-fat diet for 17 weeks and then randomly divided into two groups. One group was administered darapladib (50 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1); po) for 6 weeks. The other group was administered saline as a control. Serum lipid levels were measured using the corresponding kits, and three inflammatory markers--interleukin-6 (IL-6), C reactive protein (hs-CRP), and platelet activating factor (PAF)--were determined using ELISA. Atherosclerotic plaque areas were stained with Sudan IV, and inflammatory gene expression at the lesions was evaluated using quantitative real-time PCR. RESULTS: The body weight and serum lipid level between the two groups were similar at the end of the dietary period. The serum lp-PLA2 activity, hs-CRP and IL-6 levels, however, were significantly reduced in the darpladib group. The inhibition of lp-PLA2 did not alter the serum PAF level. Furthermore, the plaque area, from the aortic arch to the abdominal aorta, was significantly reduced in the darpladib group. Additionally, the expression of inflammatory genes monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) was significantly reduced at the lesions in the darapladib group. CONCLUSION: Inhibition of lp-PLA2 by darapladib decreases the inflammatory burden and atherosclerotic plaque formation in LDLR-deficient mice, which may be a new strategy for the treatment of atherosclerosis.