PI3K p110? deletion attenuates murine atherosclerosis by reducing macrophage proliferation but not polarization or apoptosis in lesions.
ABSTRACT: 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: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:Obesity is a chronic inflammatory disease that weakens macrophage innate immune response to infections. Since M1 polarization is crucial during acute infectious diseases, we hypothesized that diet-induced obesity inhibits M1 polarization of macrophages in the response to bacterial infections. Bone marrow macrophages (BMM?) from lean and obese mice were exposed to live Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis) for three incubation times (1 h, 4 h and 24 h). Flow cytometry analysis revealed that the M1 polarization was inhibited after P. gingivalis exposure in BMM? from obese mice when compared with BMM? from lean counterparts. Using a computational approach in conjunction with microarray data, we identified switching genes that may differentially control the behavior of response pathways in macrophages from lean and obese mice. The two most prominent switching genes were thrombospondin 1 and arginase 1. Protein expression levels of both genes were higher in obese BMM? than in lean BMM? after exposure to P. gingivalis. Inhibition of either thrombospondin 1 or arginase 1 by specific inhibitors recovered the M1 polarization of BMM? from obese mice after P. gingivalis exposure. These data indicate that thrombospondin 1 and arginase 1 are important bacterial response genes, whose regulation is altered in macrophages from obese mice.
Project description:Macrophages demonstrate a high level of plasticity, with the ability to undergo dynamic transition between M1 and M2 polarized phenotypes. The role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in regulating macrophage polarization has been largely undefined. In this study, we found that miRNA let-7c is expressed at a higher level in M-BMM (M2 macrophages) than in GM-BMM (M1 macrophages). let-7c levels are also greater in alveolar macrophages from fibrotic lungs as compared with those from normal lungs. let-7c expression was decreased when M-BMM converted to GM-BMM, whereas it increased when GM-BMM converted to M-BMM. LPS stimulation reduced let-7c expression in M-BMM. We found that overexpression of let-7c in GM-BMM diminished M1 phenotype expression while promoting polarization to the M2 phenotype. In contrast, knockdown of let-7c in M-BMM promoted M1 polarization and diminished M2 phenotype expression. We found that let-7c targets C/EBP-?, a transcriptional factor that plays an important role in inflammatory response. Furthermore, we found that let-7c regulates bactericidal and phagocytic activities of macrophages, two functional phenotypes implicated in macrophage polarization. Our data suggest that the miRNA let-7c plays an important role in regulating macrophage polarization.
Project description:The formation of the atherosclerotic lesion is a complex process influenced by an array of inflammatory and lipid metabolism pathways. We previously demonstrated that NR4A nuclear receptors are highly induced in macrophages in response to inflammatory stimuli and modulate the expression of genes linked to inflammation in vitro. Here we used mouse genetic models to assess the impact of NR4A expression on atherosclerosis development and macrophage polarization. Transplantation of wild-type, Nur77?/?, or Nor1?/? null hematopoetic precursors into LDL receptor (LDLR)?/? recipient mice led to comparable development of atherosclerotic lesions after high-cholesterol diet. We also observed comparable induction of genes linked to M1 and M2 responses in wild-type and Nur77-null macrophages in response to lipopolysaccharides and interleukin (IL)-4, respectively. In contrast, activation of the nuclear receptor liver X receptor (LXR) strongly suppressed M1 responses, and ablation of signal transductor and activator of transcription 6 (STAT6) strongly suppressed M2 responses. Recent studies have suggested that alterations in levels of Ly6C(lo) monocytes may be a contributor to inflammation and atherosclerosis. In our study, loss of Nur77, but not Nor1, was associated with decreased abundance of Ly6C(lo) monocytes, but this change was not correlated with atherosclerotic lesion development. Collectively, our results suggest that alterations in the Ly6C(lo) monocyte population and bone marrow NR4A expression do not play dominant roles in macrophage polarization or the development of atherosclerosis in mice.
Project description:In previous work we reported that ApoeKO mice transplanted with bone marrow cells deficient in the Transient Receptor Potential Canonical 3 (TRPC3) channel have reduced necrosis and number of apoptotic macrophages in advanced atherosclerotic plaques. Also, in vitro studies with polarized macrophages derived from mice with macrophage-specific loss of TRPC3 showed that M1, but not M2 macrophages, deficient in Trpc3 are less susceptible to ER stress-induced apoptosis than Trpc3 expressing cells. The questions remained (a) whether the plaque phenotype in transplanted mice resulted from a genuine effect of Trpc3 on macrophages, and (b) whether the reduced necrosis and macrophage apoptosis in plaques of these mice was a manifestation of the selective effect of TRPC3 on apoptosis of M1 macrophages previously observed in vitro. Here, we addressed these questions using Ldlr knockout (Ldlr-/-) mice with macrophage-specific loss of Trpc3 (MacTrpc3-/-/Ldlr-/-???Ldlr-/-). Compared to controls, we observed decreased plaque necrosis and number of apoptotic macrophages in MacTrpc3-/-/Ldlr-/-???Ldlr-/- mice. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed a reduction in apoptotic M1, but not apoptotic M2 macrophages. These findings confirm an effect of TRPC3 on plaque necrosis and support the notion that this is likely a reflection of the reduced susceptibility of Trpc3-deficient M1 macrophages to apoptosis.
Project description:Coronary heart disease is associated with monocytosis. Studies using animal models of monocytosis and atherosclerosis such as ApoE(-/-) mice have shown bone marrow (BM) hematopoietic stem and multipotential progenitor cell (HSPC) expansion, associated with increased cell surface expression of the common ? subunit of the granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor/interleukin-3 receptor (CBS) on HSPCs. ApoE(-/-) mice also display increased granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor-dependent monocyte production in the spleen. We investigated the role of the CBS in cholesterol-driven HSPC expansion, monocytosis, and atherosclerosis.Ldlr(-/-) mice were transplanted with ApoE(-/-)Cbs(-/-) or ApoE(-/-) BM followed by Western-type diet feeding. Compared with ApoE(-/-) BM-transplanted controls, ApoE(-/-)Cbs(-/-) BM-transplanted mice had reduced BM and splenic HSPC proliferation, fewer blood monocytes and neutrophils, and reduced macrophage content and area of early atherosclerotic lesions. More advanced lesions showed diminished macrophage and collagen content; however, lesion size was unchanged, reflecting an increase in necrotic core area, associated with a marked decrease in Abcg1 expression and increased macrophage apoptosis. Compared with wild-type mice, Western-type diet-fed ApoE(-/-) mice showed increased CBS expression on granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor-producing innate response activator B cells and expansion of this population. ApoE(-/-)Cbs(-/-) BM-transplanted Ldlr(-/-) mice showed a marked decrease in innate response activator B cells compared with ApoE(-/-) BM-transplanted Ldlr(-/-) controls.Increased levels of CBS on HSPCs and splenic innate response activator B cells lead to expansion of these populations in ApoE(-/-) BM-transplanted Ldlr(-/-) mice, contributing to monocytosis and increased lesional macrophage content. However, in more advanced lesions, the CBS also has a role in atherosclerotic plaque stabilization.
Project description:Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in the western world. Increased plasma triglyceride and cholesterol levels are major risk factors for this disease. Carboxylesterase 1 (Ces1/Ces1g) has been shown to play a role in metabolic control. So far, the role of mouse Ces1/Ces1g deficiency in atherosclerosis is not elucidated. We generated Ces1/Ces1g -/- mice. Compared to wild-type mice, Ces1/Ces1g -/- mice had reduced plasma cholesterol levels. We then generated Ces1g -/- Ldlr -/- double knockout (DKO) mice, which were fed a Western diet for 16 weeks. Compared to Ldlr -/- mice, DKO mice displayed decreased plasma cholesterol and TG levels and reduced atherosclerotic lesions. Interestingly, knockdown of hepatic Ces1/Ces1g in Apoe -/- mice resulted in hyperlipidemia and exacerbated Western diet-induced atherogenesis. Mechanistically, global inactivation of Ces1/Ces1g inhibited intestinal cholesterol and fat absorption and Niemann-Pick C1 like 1 expression, and increased macrophage cholesterol efflux by inducing ATP-binding cassette subfamily A member 1 (ABCA1) and ABCG1. Ces1/Ces1g ablation also promoted M2 macrophage polarization and induced hepatic cholesterol 7?-hydroxylase and sterol 12?-hydroxylase expression. In conclusion, global loss of Ces1/Ces1g protects against the development of atherosclerosis by inhibiting intestinal cholesterol and triglyceride absorption and promoting macrophage cholesterol efflux.
Project description:Macrophages change their phenotype and biological functions depending on the microenvironment. In atherosclerosis, oxidative tissue damage accompanies chronic inflammation; however, macrophage phenotypic changes in response to oxidatively modified molecules are not known.To examine macrophage phenotypic changes in response to oxidized phospholipids that are present in atherosclerotic lesions.We show that oxidized phospholipid-treated murine macrophages develop into a novel phenotype (Mox) that is strikingly different from the conventional M1 and M2 macrophage phenotypes. Compared to M1 and M2, Mox macrophages show a different gene expression pattern, as well as decreased phagocytotic and chemotactic capacity. Treatment with oxidized phospholipids induces both M1 and M2 macrophages to switch to the Mox phenotype. Whole-genome expression array analysis and subsequent gene ontology clustering revealed that the Mox phenotype was characterized by abundant overrepresentation of Nrf2-mediated expression of redox-regulatory genes. In macrophages isolated from Nrf2(-/-) mice, oxidized phospholipid-induced gene expression and regulation of redox status were compromised. Moreover, we found that Mox macrophages comprise 30% of all macrophages in advanced atherosclerotic lesions of low-density lipoprotein receptor knockout (LDLR(-/-)) mice.Together, we identify Nrf2 as a key regulator in the formation of a novel macrophage phenotype (Mox) that develops in response to oxidative tissue damage. The unique biological properties of Mox macrophages suggest this phenotype may play an important role in atherosclerotic lesion development as well as in other settings of chronic inflammation.
Project description:Lifestyle choices play a significant role in the etiology of atherosclerosis. Male Apoe-/- mice that develop spontaneous atherosclerotic lesions were fed 0%, 0.3%, and 0.4% mangosteen extracts, composed largely of α-mangostin (MG), for 17 weeks. Body weight gains were significantly decreased in both MG-treated groups compared to the control, but the general condition remained good throughout the study. The levels of total cholesterol (decreased very-low-density lipoprotein in lipoprotein profile) and triglycerides decreased significantly in the MG-treated mice in conjunction with decreased hepatic HMG-CoA synthase and Fatty acid transporter. Additionally, increased serum lipoprotein lipase activity and histopathology further showed a significant reduction in atherosclerotic lesions at both levels of MG exposure. Real-time PCR analysis for macrophage indicators showed a significant elevation in the levels of Cd163, an M2 macrophage marker, in the lesions of mice receiving 0.4% MG. However, the levels of Nos2, associated with M1 macrophages, showed no change. In addition, quantitative immunohistochemical analysis of macrophage subtypes showed a tendency for increased M2 populations (CD68⁺/CD163⁺) in the lesions of mice given 0.4% MG. In further analysis of the cytokine-polarizing macrophage subtypes, the levels of Interleukin13 (Il13), associated with M2 polarization, were significantly elevated in lesions exposed to 0.4% MG. Thus, MG could suppress the development of atherosclerosis in Apoe-/- mice, possibly through an M2 macrophage-mediated mechanism.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Inflammatory macrophages promote the development of atherosclerosis. We have identified the adaptor protein Dab2 (disabled homolog 2) as a regulator of phenotypic polarization in macrophages. The absence of Dab2 in myeloid cells promotes an inflammatory phenotype, but the impact of myeloid Dab2 deficiency on atherosclerosis has not been shown. APPROACH AND RESULTS:To determine the role of myeloid Dab2 in atherosclerosis, Ldlr-/- mice were reconstituted with either Dab2-positive or Dab2-deficient bone marrow and fed a western diet. Consistent with our previous finding that Dab2 inhibits NF?B (nuclear factor ?-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells) signaling in macrophages, Ldlr-/- mice reconstituted with Dab2-deficient bone marrow had increased systemic inflammation as evidenced by increased serum IL-6 (interleukin-6) levels and increased inflammatory cytokine expression levels in liver. Serum lipid levels were significantly lower in Ldlr-/- mice reconstituted with Dab2-deficient bone marrow, and further examination of livers from these mice revealed drastically increased inflammatory tissue damage and massive infiltration of immune cells. Surprisingly, the atherosclerotic lesion burden in Ldlr-/- mice reconstituted with Dab2-deficient bone marrow was decreased compared with Ldlr-/- mice reconstituted with wild-type bone marrow. Further analysis of aortic root sections revealed increased macrophage content and evidence of increased apoptosis in lesions from Ldlr-/- mice reconstituted with Dab2-deficient bone marrow but no difference in collagen or ?-smooth muscle actin content. CONCLUSIONS:Dab2 deficiency in myeloid cells promotes inflammation in livers and atherosclerotic plaques in a mouse model of atherosclerosis. Nevertheless, decreased serum lipids as a result of massive inflammatory liver damage may preclude an appreciable increase in atherosclerotic lesion burden in mice reconstituted with Dab2-deficient bone marrow.