CalDAG-GEFI Deficiency Reduces Atherosclerotic Lesion Development in Mice.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:Platelets are important for the development and progression of atherosclerotic lesions. However, relatively little is known about the contribution of platelet signaling to this pathological process. Our recent work identified 2 independent, yet synergistic, signaling pathways that lead to the activation of the small GTPase Rap1; one mediated by the guanine nucleotide exchange factor, CalDAG-GEFI (CDGI), the other by P2Y12, a platelet receptor for adenosine diphosphate and the target of antiplatelet drugs. In this study, we evaluated lesion formation in atherosclerosis-prone low-density lipoprotein receptor deficient (Ldlr(-/-)) mice lacking CDGI or P2Y12 in hematopoietic cells. APPROACH AND RESULTS:Lethally irradiated Ldlr(-/-) mice were reconstituted with bone marrow from wild-type (WT), Caldaggef1(-/-) (cdgI(-/-)), p2y12(-/-), or cdgI(-/-)p2y12(-/-) (double knockout [DKO]) mice and fed a high-fat diet for 12 weeks. Ldlr(-/-) chimeras deficient for CDGI or P2Y12 developed significantly smaller atherosclerotic lesions in the aortic sinus and in aortas when compared with the Ldlr(-/-)/WT controls. We also observed a significant reduction in platelet-leukocyte aggregates in blood from hypercholesterolemic Ldlr(-/-)/cdgI(-/-) and Ldlr(-/-)/p2y12(-/-) chimeras. Consistently, fewer macrophages and neutrophils were detected in the aortic sinus of Ldlr(-/-)/cdgI(-/-) and Ldlr(-/-)/ p2y12(-/-) chimeras. Compared with controls, the plaque collagen content was significantly higher in Ldlr(-/-) chimeras lacking CDGI. Interestingly, no statistically significant additive effects were seen in Ldlr(-/-)/DKO chimeras when compared with chimeras lacking only CDGI. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings suggest that CDGI is critical for atherosclerotic plaque development in hypercholesterolemic Ldlr(-/-) mice because of its contribution to platelet-leukocyte aggregate formation and leukocyte recruitment to the lesion area.
Project description:Ticagrelor (TIC), a P2Y purinoceptor 12 (P2Y12)-receptor antagonist, has been widely used to treat patients with acute coronary syndrome. Although animal studies suggest that TIC protects against atherosclerosis, it remains unknown whether it does so through its potent platelet inhibition or through other pathways. Here, we placed hypercholesterolemic Ldlr-/-Apobec1-/- mice on a high-fat diet and treated them with either 25 mg/kg/day of clopidogrel (CLO) or 180 mg/kg/day of TIC for 16 weeks and evaluated the extent of atherosclerosis. Both treatments equally inhibited platelets as determined by ex vivo platelet aggregation assays. The extent of atherosclerosis, however, was significantly less in the TIC group than in the CLO group. Immunohistochemical staining and ELISA showed that TIC treatment was associated with less macrophage infiltration to the atherosclerotic intima and lower serum levels of CCL4, CXCL10, and TNF?, respectively, than CLO treatment. Treatment with TIC, but not CLO, was associated with higher serum activity and tissue level of paraoxonase-1 (PON1), an anti-atherosclerotic molecule, suggesting that TIC might exert greater anti-atherosclerotic activity, compared with CLO, through its unique ability to induce PON1. Although further studies are needed, TIC may prove to be a viable strategy in the prevention and treatment of chronic stable human atherosclerosis.
Project description:Platelet activation via Fc? receptor IIA (Fc?RIIA) is a critical event in immune-mediated thrombocytopenia and thrombosis syndromes (ITT). We recently identified signaling by the guanine nucleotide exchange factor CalDAG-GEFI and the adenosine diphosphate receptor P2Y12 as independent pathways leading to Rap1 small GTPase activation and platelet aggregation. Here, we evaluated the contribution of CalDAG-GEFI and P2Y12 signaling to platelet activation in ITT. Mice transgenic for the human Fc?RIIA (hFcR) and deficient in CalDAG-GEFI(-/-) (hFcR/CDGI(-/-)) were generated. Compared with controls, aggregation of hFcR/CDGI(-/-) platelets or P2Y12 inhibitor-treated hFcR platelets required more than 5-fold and approximately 2-fold higher concentrations of a Fc?RIIA stimulating antibody against CD9, respectively. Aggregation and Rap1 activation were abolished in P2Y12 inhibitor-treated hFcR/CDGI(-/-) platelets. For in vivo studies, a novel model for antibody-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis was established. Fc?RIIA-dependent platelet thrombosis was induced by infusion of Alexa750-labeled antibodies to glycoprotein IX (CD42a), and pulmonary thrombi were detected by near-infrared imaging technology. Anti-GPIX antibodies dose-dependently caused thrombocytopenia and pulmonary thrombosis in hFcR-transgenic but not wild-type mice. CalDAG-GEFI-deficient but not clopidogrel-treated hFcR-transgenic mice were completely protected from ITT. In summary, we established a novel mouse model for ITT, which was used to identify CalDAG-GEFI as a potential new target in the treatment of ITT.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In the months after acute myocardial infarction (MI), risk for acute atherothrombotic events in nonculprit arteries increases several fold. OBJECTIVES:This study investigated whether sustained proinflammatory and prothrombotic endothelial alterations occur in remote vessels after MI. METHODS:Wild-type mice, atherosclerotic mice with double knockout (DKO) of the low-density lipoprotein receptor and Apobec-1, and DKO mice treated with the Nox-inhibitor apocynin were studied at baseline and at 3 and 21 days after closed-chest MI. Ultrasound molecular imaging of P-selectin, vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1, von Willebrand factor (VWF) A1-domain, and platelet GPIb? was performed. Intravital microscopy was used to characterize post-MI leukocyte and platelet recruitment in the remote microcirculation after MI. RESULTS:Aortic molecular imaging for P-selectin, VCAM-1, VWF-A1, and platelets was increased several-fold (p < 0.01) 3 days post-MI for both wild-type and DKO mice. At 21 days, these changes resolved in wild-type mice but persisted in DKO mice. Signal for platelet adhesion was abolished 1 h after administration of ADAMTS13, which regulates VWF multimerization. In DKO and wild-type mice, apocynin significantly attenuated the post-MI increase for molecular targets, and platelet depletion significantly reduced P-selectin and VCAM-1 signal. On intravital microscopy, MI resulted in remote vessel leukocyte adhesion and platelet string or net complexes. On histology, high-risk inflammatory features in aortic plaque increased in DKO mice 21 days post-MI, which were completely prevented by apocynin. CONCLUSIONS:Acute MI stimulates a spectrum of changes in remote vessels, including up-regulation of endothelial inflammatory adhesion molecules and platelet-endothelial adhesion from endothelial-associated VWF multimers. These remote arterial alterations persist longer in the presence of hyperlipidemia, are associated with accelerated plaque growth and inflammation, and are attenuated by Nox inhibition.
Project description:Subcutaneously injected lipid-free apoA-I (apolipoprotein A-I) reduces accumulation of lipid and immune cells within the aortic root of hypercholesterolemic mice without increasing high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol concentrations. Lymphatic vessels are now recognized as prerequisite players in the modulation of cholesterol removal from the artery wall in experimental conditions of plaque regression, and particular attention has been brought to the role of the collecting lymphatic vessels in early atherosclerosis-related lymphatic dysfunction. In the present study, we address whether and how preservation of collecting lymphatic function contributes to the protective effect of apoA-I.Atherosclerotic Ldlr-/- mice treated with low-dose lipid-free apoA-I showed enhanced lymphatic transport and abrogated collecting lymphatic vessel permeability in atherosclerotic Ldlr-/- mice when compared with albumin-control mice. Treatment of human lymphatic endothelial cells with apoA-I increased the adhesion of human platelets on lymphatic endothelial cells, in a bridge-like manner, a mechanism that could strengthen endothelial cell-cell junctions and limit atherosclerosis-associated collecting lymphatic vessel dysfunction. Experiments performed with blood platelets isolated from apoA-I-treated Ldlr-/- mice revealed that apoA-I decreased ex vivo platelet aggregation. This suggests that in vivo apoA-I treatment limits platelet thrombotic potential in blood while maintaining the platelet activity needed to sustain adequate lymphatic function.Altogether, we bring forward a new pleiotropic role for apoA-I in lymphatic function and unveil new potential therapeutic targets for the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis.
Project description:The acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) enzyme is thought to be responsible for foam cell formation and the subsequent progression of atherosclerosis. The apolipoprotein E and low density lipoprotein receptor double knockout (apoE/LDLr-DKO) mouse is an animal model that develops severe hyperlipidaemia and atherosclerosis. Here we have examined the effect of oral administration of an ACAT inhibitor, F-1394, on atherosclerosis in apoE/LDLr-DKO mice fed a regular chow diet. In en face analysis, a dose of 10, 30, or 100 mg kg(-1) day(-1) F-1394 for 10 weeks reduced the extent of lesions visible in the aorta by 24, 28 and 38%, respectively, as detected by staining with oil red O, without affecting serum cholesterol level in these mice. At the highest dose 100 mg kg(-1) day(-1) of F-1394, the reduction was statistically significant. For quantitative analysis of the cellular and non-cellular components comprising the lesions at the aortic sinus, the effects of an oral dose of 100 mg kg(-1) day(-1) F-1394 for 15 weeks were studied. There was a significant reduction (31.9%) in the oil-red O-stained area in cross-sections of the aortic sinus. In addition, the neointimal area, as well as levels of ACAT-1 protein tended to be decreased (15.2 and 25.8%, respectively, not significant). However, the areas containing macrophages, smooth muscle cells, and collagen were not affected by F-1394. In vitro, F-1394 attenuated foam cell formation in mouse peritoneal macrophages. These results indicate that ACAT may be primarily responsible for lipid accumulation in atherosclerotic lesions, and that its inhibition diminishes the lipid deposition via a direct effect on macrophages in the arterial wall.
Project description:Platelets modulate hemostasis and immune responses via interactions with immune cells through secretion of immunemodulators and cell-cell interactions. The P2Y12 receptor mediates ADP-induced aggregation and secretion in platelets.Using a mouse model of intra-abdominal sepsis and acute lung injury, we investigated the role of the P2Y12 receptor in neutrophil migration and lung inflammation in P2Y12 null mice and in mice pretreated with the P2Y12 antagonist clopidogrel. Our data show a decrease in circulating white blood cells and a decrease in platelet activation and platelet-leukocyte interactions in treated mice compared with untreated mice. Additionally, lung injury and platelet sequestration were diminished in clopidogrel-treated mice compared with their untreated septic littermates. Similar results were observed in P2Y12 null mice: platelet activation and platelet-leukocyte aggregates were decreased in septic P2Y12 null mice compared with wild-type mice. P2Y12 null mice were refractory to lung injury compared with wild-type mice. Finally, to evaluate P2Y12-independent effects of clopidogrel, we pretreated P2Y12 null mice. Interestingly, the number of circulating neutrophils was reduced in treated septic P2Y12 null mice, suggesting neutrophils as a target for clopidogrel pleiotropic effects. No difference was observed in P2Y1 null mice during sepsis, indicating that the P2Y12 receptor is responsible for the effects.P2Y12 null mice are refractory to sepsis-induced lung injury, suggesting a key role for activated platelets and the P2Y12 receptor during sepsis.
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:The miR-143/145 cluster regulates VSMC specific gene expression, thus controlling differentiation, plasticity and contractile function, and promoting the VSMC phenotypic switch from a contractile/non-proliferative to a migrating/proliferative state. More recently increased miR-145 expression was observed in human carotid atherosclerotic plaques from symptomatic patients. The goal of this study was to investigate the contribution of miR-143/145 during atherogenesis by generating mice lacking miR-143/145 on an Ldlr-deficient background. Ldlr-/- and Ldlr-/--miR-143/145-/- (DKO) were fed a Western diet (WD) for 16 weeks. At the end of the treatment, the lipid profile and the atherosclerotic lesions were assessed in both groups of mice. Absence of miR-143/145 significantly reduced atherosclerotic plaque size and macrophage infiltration. Plasma total cholesterol levels were lower in DKO and FLPC analysis showed decreased cholesterol content in VLDL and LDL fractions. Interestingly miR-143/145 deficiency per se resulted in increased hepatic and vascular ABCA1 expression. We further confirmed the direct regulation of miR-145 on ABCA1 expression by qRT-PCR, Western blotting and 3'UTR-luciferase reporter assays. In summary, miR-143/145 deficiency significantly reduces atherosclerosis in mice. Therapeutic inhibition of miR-145 might be useful for treating atherosclerotic vascular disease.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD) is characterized by asthma, recurrent nasal polyposis, and respiratory reactions on ingestion of COX-1 inhibitors. Increased numbers of platelet-leukocyte aggregates are present in the sinus tissue and blood of patients with AERD compared with that of aspirin-tolerant patients, and platelet activation can contribute to aspirin-induced reactions. OBJECTIVE:We sought to determine whether treatment with prasugrel, which inhibits platelet activation by blocking the type 12 purinergic (P2Y12) receptor, would attenuate the severity of sinonasal and respiratory symptoms induced during aspirin challenge in patients with AERD. METHODS:Forty patients with AERD completed a 10-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial of prasugrel. All patients underwent oral aspirin challenges after 4 weeks of prasugrel and after 4 weeks of placebo. The primary outcome was a change in the provocative dose of aspirin that would elicit an increase in Total Nasal Symptom Score (TNSS) of 2 points. Changes in lung function, urinary eicosanoids, plasma tryptase, platelet-leukocyte aggregates, and platelet activation were also recorded. RESULTS:Prasugrel did not significantly change the mean increase in TNSS of 2 points (79 ± 15 for patients receiving placebo and 139 ± 32 for patients receiving prasugrel, P = .10), platelet-leukocyte aggregates, or increases in urinary leukotriene E4 and prostaglandin D2 metabolite levels during aspirin-induced reactions in the study population as a whole. Five subjects (responders) reacted to aspirin while receiving placebo but did not have any reaction to aspirin challenge after the prasugrel arm. In contrast to prasugrel nonresponders (35 subjects), the prasugrel responders had smaller reaction-induced increases in TNSS; did not have significant aspirin-induced increases in urinary leukotriene E4, prostaglandin D2 metabolite, or thromboxane B2 levels; and did not display increases in serum tryptase levels during aspirin reactions on the placebo arm, all of which were observed in the nonresponders. CONCLUSION:In the overall study population, prasugrel did not attenuate aspirin-induced symptoms, possibly because it failed to decrease the frequencies of platelet-adherent leukocytes or to diminish aspirin-induced mast cell activation. In a small subset of patients with AERD who had greater baseline platelet activation and milder upper respiratory symptoms during aspirin-induced reactions, P2Y12 receptor antagonism with prasugrel completely inhibited all aspirin-induced reaction symptoms, suggesting a contribution from P2Y12 receptor signaling in this subset.
Project description:Clinical complications of atherosclerosis are almost exclusively linked to destabilization of the atherosclerotic plaque. Batf3-dependent dendritic cells specialize in cross-presentation of necrotic tissue-derived epitopes to directly activate cytolytic CD8 Tcells. The mature plaque (necrotic, containing dendritic cells and CD8 Tcells) could offer the ideal environment for cross-presentation, resulting in cytotoxic immunity and plaque destabilization. Ldlr(-/-) mice were transplanted with batf3(-/-) or wt bone marrow and put on a western type diet. Hematopoietic batf3 deficiency sharply decreased CD8?(+) DC numbers in spleen and lymph nodes (>80%; P?<?0,001). Concordantly, batf3(-/-) chimeras had a 75% reduction in OT-I cross-priming capacity in vivo. Batf3(-/-) chimeric mice did not show lower Tcell or other leukocyte subset numbers. Despite dampened cross-presentation capacity, batf3(-/-) chimeras had equal atherosclerosis burden in aortic arch and root. Likewise, batf3(-/-) chimeras and wt mice revealed no differences in parameters of plaque stability: plaque Tcell infiltration, cell death, collagen composition, and macrophage and vascular smooth muscle cell content were unchanged. These results show that CD8?(+) DC loss in hyperlipidemic mice profoundly reduces cross-priming ability, nevertheless it does not influence lesion development. Taken together, we clearly demonstrate that CD8?(+) DC-mediated cross-presentation does not significantly contribute to atherosclerotic plaque formation and stability.