Genetic manipulation of the ApoF/Stat2 locus supports an important role for type I interferon signaling in atherosclerosis.
ABSTRACT: Apolipoprotein F (ApoF) is a sialoglycoprotein that is a component of the HDL and LDL fractions of human serum. We sought to test the hypothesis that ApoF plays an important role in atherosclerosis in mice by modulating lipoprotein function. Atherosclerosis was assessed in male low density lipoprotein receptor knockout (Ldlr KO) and ApoF/Ldlr double knockout (DKO) mice fed a Western diet for 16 weeks. ApoF/Ldlr DKO mice showed a 39% reduction in lesional area by en face analysis of aortas (p < 0.05), despite no significant differences in plasma lipid parameters. ApoF KO mice had reduced expression of Interferon alpha (IFN?) responsive genes in liver and spleen, as well as impaired macrophage activation. Interferon alpha induced gene 27 like 2a (Ifi27l2a), Oligoadenylate synthetases 2 and 3 (Oas2 and Oas3) were significantly reduced in the ApoF KO mice relative to wild type controls. These effects were attributable to hypomorphic expression of Stat2 in the ApoF KO mice, a critical gene in the Type I IFN pathway that is situated just 425 base pairs downstream of ApoF. These studies implicate STAT2 as a potentially important player in atherosclerosis, and support the growing evidence that the Type I IFN pathway may contribute to this complex disease.
Project description:Plasma high-density lipoprotein levels are inversely correlated with atherosclerosis. Although it is widely assumed that this is attributable to the ability of high-density lipoprotein to promote cholesterol efflux from macrophage foam cells, direct experimental support for this hypothesis is lacking.To assess the role of macrophage cholesterol efflux pathways in atherogenesis.We developed mice with efficient deletion of the ATP-binding cassette transporters A1 and G1 (ABCA1 and ABCG1) in macrophages (MAC-ABC(DKO) mice) but not in hematopoietic stem or progenitor populations. MAC-ABC(DKO) bone marrow (BM) was transplanted into Ldlr(-/-) recipients. On the chow diet, these mice had similar plasma cholesterol and blood monocyte levels but increased atherosclerosis compared with controls. On the Western-type diet, MAC-ABC(DKO) BM-transplanted Ldlr(-/-) mice had disproportionate atherosclerosis, considering they also had lower very low-density lipoprotein/low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels than controls. ABCA1/G1-deficient macrophages in lesions showed increased inflammatory gene expression. Unexpectedly, Western-type diet-fed MAC-ABC(DKO) BM-transplanted Ldlr(-/-) mice displayed monocytosis and neutrophilia in the absence of hematopoietic stem and multipotential progenitor cells proliferation. Mechanistic studies revealed increased expressions of machrophage colony stimulating factor and granulocyte colony stimulating factor in splenic macrophage foam cells, driving BM monocyte and neutrophil production.These studies show that macrophage deficiency of ABCA1/G1 is proatherogenic likely by promoting plaque inflammation and uncover a novel positive feedback loop in which cholesterol-laden splenic macrophages signal BM progenitors to produce monocytes, with suppression by macrophage cholesterol efflux pathways.
Project description:Acetaldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) is a mitochondrial enzyme detoxifying acetaldehyde and endogenous lipid aldehydes; previous studies suggest a protective role of ALDH2 against cardiovascular disease (CVD). Around 40% of East Asians carrying the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) ALDH2 rs671 have an increased incidence of CVD. However, the role of ALDH2 in CVD beyond alcohol consumption remains poorly defined. Here we report that ALDH2/LDLR double knockout (DKO) mice have decreased atherosclerosis compared with LDLR-KO mice, whereas ALDH2/APOE-DKO mice have increased atherosclerosis, suggesting an unexpected interaction of ALDH2 with LDLR. Further studies demonstrate that in the absence of LDLR, AMPK phosphorylates ALDH2 at threonine 356 and enables its nuclear translocation. Nuclear ALDH2 interacts with HDAC3 and represses transcription of a lysosomal proton pump protein ATP6V0E2, critical for maintaining lysosomal function, autophagy, and degradation of oxidized low-density lipid protein. Interestingly, an interaction of cytosolic LDLR C-terminus with AMPK blocks ALDH2 phosphorylation and subsequent nuclear translocation, whereas ALDH2 rs671 mutant in human macrophages attenuates this interaction, which releases ALDH2 to the nucleus to suppress ATP6V0E2 expression, resulting in increased foam cells due to impaired lysosomal function. Our studies reveal a novel role of ALDH2 and LDLR in atherosclerosis and provide a molecular mechanism by which ALDH2 rs671 SNP increases CVD.
Project description:Small rodents, especially mice and rats, have been widely used in atherosclerosis studies even though humans exhibit completely different lipoprotein metabolism and atherosclerotic characteristics. Until recently, various rodent models of human familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) have been created, including mice, rats, and golden Syrian hamsters. Although hamsters reportedly possess metabolic features similar to humans, there is no systematic characterization of the properties of circulating lipids and atherosclerotic lesions in these rodent models. We used three FH animal species (mice, rats, and hamsters) with low-density lipoprotein receptor (Ldlr) deficiency to fully assess lipoprotein metabolism and atherosclerotic characteristics. Compared to chow diet-fed mice and rats, Ldlr knockout (KO) hamsters showed increased cholesterols in LDL fractions similar to human FH patients. Upon 12-week high-cholesterol/high-fat diet feeding, both heterozygous and homozygous Ldlr KO hamsters displayed hyperlipidemic phenotypes, whereas only homozygous Ldlr KO mice and rats showed only moderate increases in plasma lipid levels. Moreover, rats were resistant to diet-induced atherosclerosis compared to mice, and hamsters showed more atherosclerotic lesions in the aortas and coronary arteries. Further morphological study revealed that only hamsters developed atherosclerosis in the abdominal segments, which is highly similar to FH patients. This unique animal model will provide insight into the translational study of human atherosclerosis and could be useful for developing novel treatments for FH patients.
Project description:Antiatherosclerotic effects of tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?) blockade in patients with systemic inflammatory states are not conclusively demonstrated, which suggests that effects depend on the cause of inflammation. Macrophage LRP1 (low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1) and apoE contribute to inflammation through different pathways. We studied the antiatherosclerosis effects of TNF-? blockade in hyperlipidemic mice lacking either LRP1 (M?LRP1(-/-)) or apoE from macrophages.Lethally irradiated low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR)(-/-) mice were reconstituted with bone marrow from either wild-type, M?LRP1(-/-), apoE(-/-) or apoE(-/-)/M?LRP1(-/-)(DKO) mice, and then treated with the TNF-? inhibitor adalimumab while fed a Western-type diet. Adalimumab reduced plasma TNF-? concentration, suppressed blood ly6C(hi) monocyte levels and their migration into the lesion, and reduced lesion cellularity and inflammation in both wild-type?LDLR(-/-) and apoE(-/-)?LDLR(-/-) mice. Overall, adalimumab reduced lesion burden by 52% to 57% in these mice. Adalimumab reduced TNF-? and blood ly6C(hi) monocyte levels in M?LRP1(-/-)?LDLR(-/-) and DKO?LDLR(-/-) mice, but it did not suppress ly6C(hi) monocyte migration into the lesion or atherosclerosis progression.Our results show that TNF-? blockade exerts antiatherosclerotic effects that are dependent on the presence of macrophage LRP1.
Project description:ABCA7, a close relative of ABCA1 which facilitates cholesterol efflux to lipid-poor apoproteins, has been implicated in macrophage lipid efflux and clearance of apoptotic cells in in vitro studies. In the current study, we investigated the in vivo effects of macrophage ABCA7 deficiency on lipid metabolism and atherosclerosis. Chimeras with dysfunctional ABCA7 in macrophages and other blood cells were generated by transplantation of bone marrow from ABCA7 knockout (KO) mice into irradiated low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLr) KO mice. Unexpectedly, macrophage ABCA7 deficiency did not significantly affect atherosclerosis susceptibility of LDLr KO mice after 10 weeks Western-type diet feeding. However, ABCA7 deficiency was associated with 2-fold (p<0.05) higher macrophage ABCA1 mRNA expression levels. Combined disruption of ABCA1 and ABCA7 in bone-marrow-derived cells increased atherosclerotic lesion development (1.5-fold (p>0.05) as compared to wild type transplanted mice. However, single deletion of ABCA1 had a similar effect (1.8-fold, p<0.05). Macrophage foam cell accumulation in the peritoneal cavity was reduced in ABCA1/ABCA7 dKO transplanted animals as compared to single ABCA1 KO transplanted mice, which was associated with increased ABCG1 expression. Interestingly, spleens of ABCA1/ABCA7 double KO transplanted mice were significantly larger as compared to the other 3 groups and showed massive macrophage lipid accumulation, a reduction in CD3+ T-cells, and increased expression of key regulators of erythropoiesis. In conclusion, deletion of ABCA7 in bone marrow-derived cells does not affect atherogenesis in the arterial wall neither in the absence or presence of ABCA1. Interestingly, combined deletion of bone marrow ABCA1 and ABCA7 causes severe splenomegaly associated with cellular lipid accumulation, a reduction in splenic CD3+ T cells, and induced markers of erythropoeisis. Our data indicate that ABCA7 may play a role in T cell proliferation and erythropoeisis in spleen.
Project description:The consequences of macrophage triglyceride (TG) accumulation on atherosclerosis have not been studied in detail so far. Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) is the rate-limiting enzyme for the initial step in TG hydrolysis. Because ATGL knockout (KO) mice exhibit massive TG accumulation in macrophages, we used ATGL KO mice to study the effects of macrophage TG accumulation on atherogenesis.Low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLr) KO mice were transplanted with bone marrow from ATGL KO (ATGL KO?LDLr KO) or wild-type (WT?LDLr KO) mice and challenged with a Western-type diet for 9 weeks. Despite TG accumulation in ATGL KO macrophages, atherosclerosis in ATGL KO?LDLr KO mice was 43% reduced associated with decreased plasma monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and macrophage interleukin-6 concentrations. This coincided with a reduced amount of macrophages, possibly because of a 39% increase in intraplaque apoptosis and a decreased migratory capacity of ATGL KO macrophages. The reduced number of white blood cells might be due to a 36% decreased Lin(-)Sca-1(+)cKit(+) hematopoietic stem cell population.We conclude that the attenuation of atherogenesis in ATGL KO?LDLr KO mice is due to decreased infiltration of less inflammatory macrophages into the arterial wall and increased macrophage apoptosis.
Project description:In humans, sterol 27-hydroxylase (CYP27A1) deficiency leads to cholesterol deposition in tendons and vasculature. Thus, in addition to its role in bile acid synthesis, where it converts cholesterol to 27-hydroxycholesterol (27-OHC), CYP27A1 may also be atheroprotective. Cyp27A1-deficient (Cyp27A1(-/-)) mice were crossed with apolipoprotein E (apoE)-deficient mice. Cyp27A1(+/+)/apoE(-/-) [ApoE-knockout (KO)], Cyp27A1(+/-)/apoE(-/-) heterozygous (het), and Cyp27A1(-/-)/apoE(-/-) [double-knockout (DKO)] mice were challenged with a Western diet (WD) for 3 and 6 mo. ApoE-KO mice fed a chow diet or a WD were used as the control. The severity of atherosclerosis in DKO mice was reduced 10-fold. Compared with the control, the DKO mice had no 27-OHC, total plasma cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein and very low density lipoprotein (LDL/VLDL) concentrations were reduced 2-fold, and HDL was elevated 2-fold. Expression of hepatic CYP7A1, CYP3A, and CYP8B1 were 5- to 10-fold higher. 3-Hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR) activity increased 4-fold. Fecal cholesterol was increased. In contrast, het mice fed a WD developed accelerated atherosclerosis and severe skin lesions, possibly because of reduced reverse cholesterol transport due to diminished 27-OHC production. CYP27A1 activity is involved in the control of cholesterol homeostasis and development of atherosclerosis with a distinct gene dose-dependent effect.
Project description:Objective- Atherosclerosis studies in Ldlr knockout mice require breeding to homozygosity and congenic status on C57BL6/J background, a process that is both time and resource intensive. We aimed to develop a new method for generating atherosclerosis through somatic deletion of Ldlr in livers of adult mice. Approach and Results- Overexpression of PCSK9 (proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9) is currently used to study atherosclerosis, which promotes degradation of LDLR (low-density lipoprotein receptor) in the liver. We sought to determine whether CRISPR/Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-associated 9) could also be used to generate atherosclerosis through genetic disruption of Ldlr in adult mice. We engineered adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors expressing Staphylococcus aureus Cas9 and a guide RNA targeting the Ldlr gene (AAV-CRISPR). Both male and female mice received either (1) saline, (2) AAV-CRISPR, or (3) AAV-hPCSK9 (human PCSK9)-D374Y. A fourth group of germline Ldlr-KO mice was included for comparison. Mice were placed on a Western diet and followed for 20 weeks to assess plasma lipids, PCSK9 protein levels, atherosclerosis, and editing efficiency. Disruption of Ldlr with AAV-CRISPR was robust, resulting in severe hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerotic lesions in the aorta. AAV-hPCSK9 also produced hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis as expected. Notable sexual dimorphism was observed, wherein AAV-CRISPR was superior for Ldlr removal in male mice, while AAV-hPCSK9 was more effective in female mice. Conclusions- This all-in-one AAV-CRISPR vector targeting Ldlr is an effective and versatile tool to model atherosclerosis with a single injection and provides a useful alternative to the use of germline Ldlr-KO mice.
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:OBJECTIVE:Therapeutic effects of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) inhibition using a small molecule inhibitor was evaluated in apolipoprotein E (apoE) knockout (KO) and low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLr) KO mouse atherosclerosis models. RESULTS:The prevention trial consisted of an 8-week treatment with an FAK inhibitor concurrent treatment with a high fat (HF)/high cholesterol (HC) diet. The intervention trial consisted of 6- and 8-week treatment after 6- and 8-week pre-loading, respectively, of a HF/HC diet in apoE KO and LDLr KO mice, respectively. The inhibitor was admixed with a HF/HC diet and mice were given free access to the admixture. The FAK inhibitor exhibited marked inhibition against the development of the atherosclerosis in both of prevention and intervention trials at a dose of 0.03% without showing any remarkable toxic properties in biochemical examinations. These results indicated that FAK inhibition might be a possible candidate for novel therapeutic targets against atherosclerosis.