MicroRNA-155 deficiency results in decreased macrophage inflammation and attenuated atherogenesis in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice.
ABSTRACT: microRNA-155 (miR155) plays a critical role in immunity and macrophage inflammation. We aim to investigate the role of miR155 in atherogenesis.Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction showed that miR155 was expressed in mouse and human atherosclerotic lesions. miR155 expression in macrophages was correlated positively with proinflammatory cytokine expression. Lentivirus-mediated overexpression of miR155 in macrophages enhanced their inflammatory response to lipopolysaccharide through targeting suppressor of cytokine signaling-1 and impaired cholesterol efflux from acetylated low-density lipoprotein-loaded macrophages, whereas deficiency of miR155 blunted macrophage inflammatory responses and enhanced cholesterol efflux possibly via enhancing lipid loading-induced macrophage autophagy. We next examined the atherogenesis in apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE(-/-)) and miR155(-/-)/apoE(-/-) (double knockout) mice fed a Western diet. Compared with apoE(-/-) mice, the double knockout mice developed less atherosclerosis lesion in aortic root, with reduced neutral lipid content and macrophages. Flow cytometric analysis showed that there were increased number of regulatory T cells and reduced numbers of Th17 cells and CD11b+/Ly6C(high) cells in the spleen of double knockout mice. Peritoneal macrophages from the double knockout mice had significantly reduced proinflammatory cytokine expression and secretion both in the absence and presence of lipopolysaccharide stimulation. To determine whether miR155 in leukocytes contributes to atherosclerosis, we performed a bone marrow transplantation study. Deficiency of miR155 in bone marrow-derived cells suppressed atherogenesis in apoE(-/-) mice, demonstrating that hematopoietic cell-derived miR155 plays a critical role.miR155 deficiency attenuates atherogenesis in apoE(-/-) mice by reducing inflammatory responses of macrophages, enhancing macrophage cholesterol efflux and resulting in an antiatherogenic leukocyte profile. Targeting miR155 may be a promising strategy to halt atherogenesis.
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:Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a biologically active sphingolipid that has pleiotropic effects in a variety of cell types including ECs, SMCs, and macrophages, all of which are central to the development of atherosclerosis. It may therefore exert stimulatory and inhibitory effects on atherosclerosis. Here, we investigated the role of the S1P receptor S1PR2 in atherosclerosis by analyzing S1pr2-/- mice with an Apoe-/- background. S1PR2 was expressed in macrophages, ECs, and SMCs in atherosclerotic aortas. In S1pr2-/-Apoe-/- mice fed a high-cholesterol diet for 4 months, the area of the atherosclerotic plaque was markedly decreased, with reduced macrophage density, increased SMC density, increased eNOS phosphorylation, and downregulation of proinflammatory cytokines compared with S1pr2+/+Apoe-/- mice. Bone marrow chimera experiments indicated a major role for macrophage S1PR2 in atherogenesis. S1pr2-/-Apoe-/- macrophages showed diminished Rho/Rho kinase/NF-?B (ROCK/NF-?B) activity. Consequently, they also displayed reduced cytokine expression, reduced oxidized LDL uptake, and stimulated cholesterol efflux associated with decreased scavenger receptor expression and increased cholesterol efflux transporter expression. S1pr2-/-Apoe-/- ECs also showed reduced ROCK and NF-?B activities, with decreased MCP-1 expression and elevated eNOS phosphorylation. Pharmacologic S1PR2 blockade in S1pr2+/+Apoe-/- mice diminished the atherosclerotic plaque area in aortas and modified LDL accumulation in macrophages. We conclude therefore that S1PR2 plays a critical role in atherogenesis and may serve as a novel therapeutic target for atherosclerosis.
Project description:Mangiferin has been identified as a potent cardioprotective factor that enhances high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in plasma. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of mangiferin on macrophage cholesterol efflux and the development of atherosclerosis. The results showed that mangiferin injection significantly decreased atherosclerotic plaque size, and reduced plasma levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglyceride, and total cholesterol in apoE knockout mice, whereas reverse cholesterol transport efficiency and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were enhanced. In vitro study showed that mangiferin prevented lipid accumulation and promoted [3H]-cholesterol efflux from acetylated LDL-loaded RAW264.7 macrophages with an increase in the expression of ATP binding cassette A1/G1 (ABCA1/G1), liver X receptor-? (LXR?) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-? (PPAR?). Moreover, transfection of PPAR? siRNA or LXR? siRNA markedly abolished the positive effects of mangiferin on ABCA1/G1 expression and cholesterol efflux. The opposite effects were observed after treatment with PPAR? agonist rosiglitazone or LXR? agonist T0901317. In conclusion, mangiferin may attenuate atherogenesis by promoting cholesterol efflux from macrophages via the PPAR?-LXR?-ABCA1/G1 pathway.
Project description:Pak1 plays an important role in various cellular processes, including cell motility, polarity, survival and proliferation. To date, its role in atherogenesis has not been explored. Here we report the effect of Pak1 on atherogenesis using atherosclerosis-prone apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE(-/-)) mice as a model. Disruption of Pak1 in ApoE(-/-) mice results in reduced plaque burden, significantly attenuates circulating IL-6 and MCP-1 levels, limits the expression of adhesion molecules and diminishes the macrophage content in the aortic root of ApoE(-/-) mice. We also observed reduced oxidized LDL uptake and increased cholesterol efflux by macrophages and smooth muscle cells of ApoE(-/-):Pak1(-/-) mice as compared with ApoE(-/-) mice. In addition, we detect increased Pak1 phosphorylation in human atherosclerotic arteries, suggesting its role in human atherogenesis. Altogether, these results identify Pak1 as an important factor in the initiation and progression of atherogenesis.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS:Acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1) is the rate-limiting enzyme catalyzing the final step of triglyceride synthesis by esterifying a diglyceride with a fatty acid. We have previously shown that apolipoprotein E-knockout (ApoE-/-) mice lacking Dgat1 have reduced intestinal cholesterol absorption and potentiated macrophage cholesterol efflux, and consequently, exhibit attenuated atherogenesis. However, hematopoietic Dgat1 deficiency lacked beneficial effects on atherosclerosis. Due to our recent results on the critical role of intestinal Dgat1 in murine cholesterol homeostasis, we delineated whether intestinal Dgat1 deficiency regulates atherogenesis in mice. METHODS:We generated intestine-specific Dgat1-/- mice on the ApoE-/- background (iDgat1-/-ApoE-/-) and determined cholesterol homeostasis and atherosclerosis development. RESULTS:When fed a Western-type diet, iDgat1-/-ApoE-/- mice exhibited a substantial decrease in fasting plasma cholesterol content in ApoB-containing lipoproteins. Although lipid absorption was delayed, iDgat1-/-ApoE-/- mice had reduced acute and fractional cholesterol absorption coupled with an elevated fecal caloric loss. In line, increased appearance of i.v. administered [³H]cholesterol in duodena and stool of iDgat1-/-ApoE-/- animals suggested potentiated cholesterol elimination. Atherosclerotic lesions were markedly smaller with beneficial alterations in plaque composition as evidenced by reduced macrophage infiltration and necrotic core size despite unaltered collagen content, indicating improved plaque stability. CONCLUSIONS:Disruption of Dgat1 activity solely in the small intestine of ApoE-/- mice strongly decreased plasma cholesterol levels by abrogating the assimilation of dietary cholesterol, partly by reduced absorption and increased excretion. Consequently, the reduced cholesterol burden significantly attenuated atherogenesis and improved the lesion phenotype in iDgat1-/-ApoE-/- mice.
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: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:Clock is a key transcription factor that positively controls circadian regulation. However, its role in plasma cholesterol homeostasis and atherosclerosis has not been studied.We show for the first time that dominant-negative Clock mutant protein (Clock(?19/?19)) enhances plasma cholesterol and atherosclerosis in 3 different mouse models. Detailed analyses revealed that Clk(?19/?19)Apoe(-/-) mice display hypercholesterolemia resulting from the accumulation of apolipoprotein B48-containing cholesteryl ester-rich lipoproteins. Physiological studies showed that enhanced cholesterol absorption by the intestine contributes to hypercholesterolemia. Molecular studies indicated that the expression of Niemann Pick C1 Like 1, Acyl-CoA:Cholesterol acyltransferase 1, and microsomal triglyceride transfer protein in the intestines of Clk(?19/?19)Apoe(-/-) mice was high and that enterocytes assembled and secreted more chylomicrons. Furthermore, we identified macrophage dysfunction as another potential cause of increased atherosclerosis in Clk(?19/?19)Apoe(-/-) mice. Macrophages from Clk(?19/?19)Apoe(-/-) mice expressed higher levels of scavenger receptors and took up more modified lipoproteins compared with Apoe(-/-) mice, but they expressed low levels of ATP binding casette protein family A member 1 and were defective in cholesterol efflux. Molecular studies revealed that Clock regulates ATP binding casette protein family A member 1 expression in macrophages by modulating upstream transcription factor 2 expression.Clock(?19/?19) protein enhances atherosclerosis by increasing intestinal cholesterol absorption, augmenting uptake of modified lipoproteins by macrophages, and reducing cholesterol efflux from macrophages. These studies establish that circadian Clock activity is crucial in maintaining low plasma cholesterol levels and in reducing atherogenesis in mice.
Project description:Macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques drive inflammatory responses, degrade lipoproteins, and phagocytose dead cells. MicroRNAs (miRs) control the differentiation and activity of macrophages by regulating the signaling of key transcription factors. However, the functional role of macrophage-related miRs in the immune response during atherogenesis is unknown. Here, we report that miR-155 is specifically expressed in atherosclerotic plaques and proinflammatory macrophages, where it was induced by treatment with mildly oxidized LDL (moxLDL) and IFN-?. Leukocyte-specific Mir155 deficiency reduced plaque size and number of lesional macrophages after partial carotid ligation in atherosclerotic (Apoe-/-) mice. In macrophages stimulated with moxLDL/IFN-? in vitro, and in lesional macrophages, loss of Mir155 reduced the expression of the chemokine CCL2, which promotes the recruitment of monocytes to atherosclerotic plaques. Additionally, we found that miR-155 directly repressed expression of BCL6, a transcription factor that attenuates proinflammatory NF-?B signaling. Silencing of Bcl6 in mice harboring Mir155-/- macrophages enhanced plaque formation and CCL2 expression. Taken together, these data demonstrated that miR-155 plays a key role in atherogenic programming of macrophages to sustain and enhance vascular inflammation.
Project description:Oxidative stress activates macroautophagy/autophagy and contributes to atherogenesis via lipophagic flux, a form of lipid removal by autophagy. However, it is not known exactly how endogenous antioxidant enzymes are involved in lipophagic flux. Here, we demonstrate that the antioxidant PRDX1 (peroxiredoxin 1) has a crucial role in the maintenance of lipophagic flux in macrophages. PRDX1 is more highly expressed than other antioxidant enzymes in monocytes and macrophages. We determined that Prdx1 deficiency induced excessive oxidative stress and impaired maintenance of autophagic flux in macrophages. Prdx1-deficient macrophages had higher intracellular cholesterol mass and lower cholesterol efflux compared with wild type. This perturbation in cholesterol homeostasis was due to impaired lipophagic cholesterol hydrolysis caused by excessive oxidative stress, resulting in the inhibition of free cholesterol formation and the reduction of NR1H3 (nuclear receptor subfamily 1, group H, member 3) activity. Notably, impairment of both lipophagic flux and cholesterol efflux was restored by the 2-Cys PRDX-mimics ebselen and gliotoxin. Consistent with this observation, apoe -/- mice transplanted with bone marrow from prdx1-/-apoe-/- mice had increased plaque formation compared with apoe-/- BM-transplanted recipients. This study reveals that PRDX1 is crucial to regulating lipophagic flux and maintaining macrophage cholesterol homeostasis against oxidative stress. We suggest that PRDX1-dependent control of oxidative stress may provide a strategy for treating atherosclerosis and autophagy-related human diseases.