Vascular stability and tone are maintained by contractile smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). However, injury-induced growth factors stimulate a contractile-synthetic phenotypic modulation which increases susceptibility to abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). As a regulator of embryonic VSMC differentiation, we hypothesised that Thymosin β4 (Tβ4) may function to maintain healthy vasculature throughout postnatal life. This was supported by the identification of an interaction with Low density lipoprotein receptor related protein 1 (LRP1), an endocytic regulator of PDGF-BB signalling and VSMC proliferation. LRP1 variants have been implicated by genome-wide association studies with risk of AAA and other arterial diseases. Tβ4-null mice displayed aortic VSMC and elastin defects, phenocopying LRP1 mutants, and their compromised vascular integrity predisposed to Angiotensin II-induced aneurysm formation. Aneurysmal vessels were characterised by enhanced VSMC phenotypic modulation and augmented platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptor (PDGFR)β signalling. In vitro, enhanced sensitivity to PDGF-BB, upon loss of Tβ4, associated with dysregulated endocytosis, with increased recycling and reduced lysosomal targeting of LRP1-PDGFRβ. Accordingly, the exacerbated aneurysmal phenotype in Tβ4-null mice was rescued upon treatment with the PDGFRβ antagonist, Imatinib. Our study identifies Tβ4 as a key regulator of LRP1 for maintaining vascular health and provides insights into the mechanisms of growth factor-controlled VSMC phenotypic modulation underlying aortic disease progression.
Sonali Munshaw, Susann Bruche, Andia N. Redpath, Alisha Jones, Jyoti Patel, Karina N. Dubé, Regent Lee, Svenja S. Hester, Rachel Davies, Giles Neal, Ashok Handa, Michael Sattler, Roman Fischer, Keith M. Channon, Nicola Smart
Autophagy modulates lipid turnover, cell survival, inflammation and atherogenesis. Scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI) plays a crucial role in lysosome function. Here, we demonstrate that SR-BI regulates autophagy in atherosclerosis. SR-BI deletion attenuated lipid-induced expression of autophagy mediators in macrophages and atherosclerotic aortas. Consequently, SR-BI deletion resulted in 1.8- and 2.5-fold increases in foam cell formation and apoptosis, respectively, and increased oxidized LDL-induced inflammatory cytokine expression. Pharmacological activation of autophagy failed to reduce lipid content or apoptosis in Sr-b1-/- macrophages. SR-BI deletion reduced both basal and inducible levels of transcription factor EB (TFEB), a master regulator of autophagy, causing decreased expression of autophagy genes encoding VPS34 and Beclin-1. Notably, SR-BI regulated Tfeb expression by enhancing PPARα activation. Moreover, intracellular macrophage SR-BI localized to autophagosomes, where it formed cholesterol domains resulting in enhanced association of Barkor and recruitment of the VPS34/Beclin-1 complex. Thus, SR-BI deficiency led to lower VPS34 activity in macrophages and in atherosclerotic aortic tissues. Overexpression of Tfeb or Vps34 rescues the defective autophagy in Sr-b1-/- macrophages. Taken together, macrophage SR-BI regulates autophagy via Tfeb expression and recruitment of the VPS34/Beclin-1 complex, thus identifying previously unrecognized roles for SR-BI and novel targets for the treatment of atherosclerosis.
Huan Tao, Patricia G. Yancey, John L. Blakemore, Youmin Zhang, Lei Ding, W. Gray Jerome, Jonathan D. Brown, Kasey C. Vickers, MacRae F. Linton
Abnormal angiogenesis and regression of the diseased retinal vasculature are key processes associated with ischemic retinopathies, but the underlying mechanisms that regulate vascular remodeling remain poorly understood. Here, we confirmed the specific expression of semaphorin 3G (Sema3G) in retinal endothelial cells (ECs), which was required for vascular remodeling and the amelioration of ischemic retinopathy. We found that Sema3G was elevated in the vitreous fluid of patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) and in the neovascularization regression phase of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR). Endothelial-specific Sema3G knockout mice exhibited decreased vessel density and excessive matrix deposition in the retinal vasculature. Moreover, loss of Sema3G aggravated pathological angiogenesis in mice with OIR. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that HIF-2α directly regulated Sema3G transcription in ECs under hypoxia. Sema3G coordinated the functional interaction between β-catenin and VE-cadherin by increasing β-catenin stability in the endothelium through the neuropilin-2 (Nrp2)/PlexinD1 receptor. Furthermore, Sema3G supplementation enhanced healthy vascular network formation and promoted diseased vasculature regression during blood vessel remodeling. Overall, we deciphered the endothelium-derived Sema3G-dependent events involved in modulating physiological vascular remodeling and regression of pathological blood vessels for reparative vascular regeneration. Our findings shed light on the protective effect of Sema3G in ischemic retinopathies.
Dan-Yang Chen, Ning-He Sun, Xiang Chen, Jun-Jie Gong, Song-Tao Yuan, Zi-Zhong Hu, Nan-Nan Lu, Jakob Körbelin, Kohji Fukunaga, Qing-Huai Liu, Ying-Mei Lu, Feng Han
Women with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) exhibit better right ventricular (RV) function and survival than men; however, the underlying mechanisms are unknown. We hypothesized that 17β-estradiol (E2), through estrogen receptor α (ERα), attenuates PAH-induced RV failure (RVF) by up-regulating the pro-contractile and pro-survival peptide apelin via a bone morphogenetic protein receptor 2 (BMPR2)-dependent mechanism. We report that ERα and apelin levels are decreased in RV homogenates from patients with RVF and from rats with maladaptive (but not adaptive) RV remodeling. RV cardiomyocyte apelin abundance increased in vivo or in vitro after treatment with E2 or ERα agonist. Studies employing ERα or ERβ null mice, ERα mutant rats or siRNA demonstrated that ERα is necessary for E2 to upregulate RV apelin. E2 and ERα increased BMPR2 in PH-RVs and in isolated RV cardiomyocytes, associated with ERα binding to the Bmpr2 promoter. BMPR2 is required for E2-mediated increases in apelin abundance, and both BMPR2 and apelin are necessary for E2 to enhance pro-survival signaling. E2 or ERα agonist rescued monocrotaline-PH and restored RV apelin and BMPR2 expression. We identified a novel cardioprotective E2-ERα-BMPR2-apelin axis in the RV. Harnessing this axis may lead to novel, RV-targeted therapies for PAH patients of either sex.
Andrea L. Frump, Marjorie E. Albrecht, Bakhtiyor Yakubov, Sandra Breuils Bonnet, Valerie Nadeau, Eve Tremblay, Francois Potus, Junichi Omura, Todd Cook, Amanda Fisher, Brooke E. Rodriguez, R. Dale Brown, Kurt R. Stenmark, C. Dustin Rubinstein, Kathy Krentz, Diana M. Tabima, Rongbo Li, Xin Sun, Naomi C. Chesler, Steeve Provencher, Sebastien Bonnet, Tim Lahm
DREAM is a transcriptional repressor complex that regulates cell proliferation and its loss causes neonatal lethality in mice. To investigate DREAM function in adult mice, we utilized an assembly defective p107 protein and conditional deletion of its redundant family member p130. In the absence of DREAM assembly, mice displayed shortened survival characterized by systemic amyloidosis, but no evidence of excessive cellular proliferation. Amyloid deposits were found in the heart, liver, spleen, and kidneys, but not the brain or bone marrow. Using laser capture microdissection followed by mass spectrometry, we identified apolipoproteins as the most abundant components of amyloids. Intriguingly, apoA-IV was the most detected amyloidogenic protein in amyloid deposits, suggesting AApoAIV amyloidosis. AApoAIV is a recently described form whereby wildtype apoA-IV has been shown to predominate in amyloid plaques. We determined that DREAM directly regulates Apoa4 by chromatin immunoprecipitation and that the histone variant H2AZ is reduced from the Apoa4 gene body in DREAM’s absence, leading to overexpression. Collectively, we describe a mechanism by which epigenetic misregulation causes apolipoprotein overexpression and amyloidosis, potentially explaining the origins of non-genetic amyloid subtypes.
Pirunthan Perampalam, Haider M. Hassan, Grace E. Lilly, Daniel T. Passos, Joseph Torchia, Patti K. Kiser, Andrea Bozovic, Vathany Kulasingam, Frederick A. Dick
Propranolol, a pleiotropic β-adrenergic blocker, was anecdotally reported to reduce cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) in humans. However, propranolol has neither been rigorously evaluated in animal models nor was its mechanism of action in CCM defined. We report that propranolol or its S(-) enantiomer dramatically reduced embryonic venous cavernomas in ccm2 mosaic zebrafish, whereas R-(+)-propranolol, lacking β-antagonism, had no effect. Silencing of β1, but not β2, adrenergic receptor mimicked the beneficial effects of propranolol in a zebrafish CCM model as did a β1-selective antagonist, metoprolol. Thus, propranolol ameliorates cavernous malformations by β1 adrenergic antagonism in zebrafish. Oral propranolol significantly reduced lesion burden in two chronic murine models of the exceptionally aggressive Pdcd10/Ccm3 form of CCM. Propranolol or other β1-selective antagonists may be beneficial in CCM disease.
Wenqing Li, Robert Shenkar, Matthew R. Detter, Thomas Moore, Christian R. Benavides, Rhonda Lightle, Romuald Girard, Nicholas Hobson, Ying Cao, Yan Li, Erin Griffin, Carol Gallione, Joseph M. Zabramski, Mark H. Ginsberg, Douglas A. Marchuk, Issam A. Awad
The development of ascites correlates with advanced-stage disease and poor prognosis in ovarian cancer. Vascular permeability is the key pathophysiological change involved in ascites development. Previously, we provided the first evidence that perivascular M2-like macrophages protect the vascular barrier through direct contact with endothelial cells (ECs). Here, we investigated the molecular mechanism and its clinical significance in the ovarian cancer setting. We found that upon direct coculture with the endothelium, M2 macrophages tuned down their VLA4 and reduced the levels of VCAM1 in ECs. On the other hand, ectopically overexpressing VLA4 in macrophages or VCAM1 in ECs induced hyperpermeability. Mechanistically, downregulation of VLA4 or VCAM1 led to reduced levels of RAC1 and reactive oxygen species (ROS), which resulted in decreased phosphorylation of PYK2 (p-PYK2) and VE-cadherin (p-VE-cad), hence enhancing cell adhesion. Furthermore, targeting the VLA4/VCAM1 axis augmented vascular integrity and abrogated ascites formation in vivo. Lastly, VLA4 expression on the macrophages isolated from ascites dictated permeability ex vivo. Importantly, VLA4 antibody acted synergistically with bevacizumab to further enhance the vascular barrier. Taken together, we reveal here that M2 macrophages regulate the vascular barrier though the VCAM1/RAC1/ROS/p-PYK2/p-VE-cad cascade, which provides specific therapeutic targets for the treatment of malignant ascites.
Shibo Zhang, Bingfan Xie, Lijie Wang, Hua Yang, Haopei Zhang, Yuming Chen, Feng Wang, Changqing Liu, Huanhuan He
The triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1 (TREM-1) drives inflammatory responses in several cardiovascular diseases but its role in abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) remains unknown. Our objective was to explore the role of TREM-1 in a mouse model of Angiotensin (Ang) II-induced AAA. TREM-1 expression was detected in mouse aortic aneurysm and colocalizes with macrophages. Trem1 gene deletion (Apoe-/-Trem1-/-), as well as TREM-1 pharmacological blockade with LR-12 peptide limited both AAA development and severity. Trem1 gene deletion attenuated the inflammatory response in the aorta, with a reduction of Il1b, Tnfa, Mmp2 and Mmp9 mRNA expression, and led to a decreased macrophage content, due to a reduction of Ly6Chi classical monocyte trafficking. Conversely, antibody-mediated TREM-1 stimulation exacerbated Ly6Chi monocyte aorta infiltration after AngII infusion through CD62L up-regulation and promoted pro-inflammatory signature in the aorta, resulting in worsening AAA severity. AngII infusion stimulated TREM-1 expression and activation on Ly6Chi monocytes through AngII Receptor Type I (AT1R). In human AAA, TREM-1 was detected and TREM1 mRNA expression correlated with SELL mRNA expression. Finally, circulating levels of sTREM-1 were increased in patients with AAA when compared to patients without AAA. In conclusion, TREM-1 is involved in AAA pathophysiology and may represent a promising therapeutic target in human.
Marie Vandestienne, Yujiao Zhang, Icia Santos-Zas, Rida Al-Rifai, Jeremie Joffre, Andreas Giraud, Ludivine Laurans, Bruno Esposito, Florence Pinet, Patrick Bruneval, Juliette Raffort, Fabien Lareyre, Jose Vilar, Amir Boufenzer, Lea Guyonnet, Coralie L. Guerin, Eric Clauser, Jean-Sébastien Silvestre, Sylvie Lang, Laurie Soulat-Dufour, Alain Tedgui, Ziad Mallat, Soraya Taleb, Alexandre Boissonnas, Marc Derive, Giulia Chinetti, Hafid Ait-Oufella
ABSTRACTIndividuals harboring the loss-of-function (LOF) proprotein convertase subtilising/kexin type 9 Gln152His variation (PCSK9Q152H) have low circulating low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and are therefore protected against cardiovascular disease (CVD). This uncleavable form of pro-PCSK9, however, is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of liver hepatocytes where it would be expected to contribute to ER storage disease (ERSD); a heritable condition known to cause systemic ER stress and liver injury. Here, we examined liver function in members of several French-Canadian families known to carry the PCSK9Q152H variation. We report that PCSK9Q152H carriers exhibited marked hypocholesterolemia and normal liver function despite their lifelong state of ER PCSK9 retention. Mechanistically, hepatic overexpression of PCSK9Q152H using adeno-associated viruses in male mice greatly increased the stability of key ER stress response chaperones in liver hepatocytes and unexpectedly protected against ER stress and liver injury rather than to induce them. Our findings show that ER retention of PCSK9 not only reduced CVD risk in patients but may also protect against ERSD and other ER stress-driven conditions of the liver. In summary, we have uncovered a co-chaperone function for PCSK9Q152H that explains its hepatoprotective effects and generated a translational mouse model for further mechanistic insights into this clinically relevant LOF PCSK9 variant.
Paul F. Lebeau, Hanny Wassef, Jae Hyun Byun, Khrystyna Platko, Brandon Ason, Simon Jackson, Joshua Dobroff, Susan Shetterly, William G. Richards, Ali A. Al-Hashimi, Kevin D. Won, Majambu Mbikay, Annik Prat, An Tang, Guillaume Paré, Renata Pasqualini, Nabil G. Seidah, Wadih Arap, Michel Chretien, Richard C. Austin
Tertiary lymphoid organs are aggregates of immune and stromal cells including high endothelial venules and lymphatic vessels that resemble secondary lymphoid organs and can be induced at nonlymphoid sites during inflammation. The function of lymphatic vessels within tertiary lymphoid organs remains poorly understood. During lung transplant tolerance, Foxp3+ cells accumulate in tertiary lymphoid organs that are induced within the pulmonary grafts and are critical for the local downregulation of alloimmune responses. Here, we showed that tolerant lung allografts could induce and maintain tolerance of heterotopic donor-matched hearts through pathways that were dependent on the continued presence of the transplanted lung. Using lung retransplantation, we showed that Foxp3+ cells egressed from tolerant lung allografts via lymphatics and were recruited into donor-matched heart allografts. Indeed, survival of the heart allografts was dependent on lymphatic drainage from the tolerant lung allograft to the periphery. Thus, our work indicates that cellular trafficking from tertiary lymphoid organs regulates immune responses in the periphery. We propose that these findings have important implications for a variety of disease processes that are associated with the induction of tertiary lymphoid organs.
Wenjun Li, Jason M. Gauthier, Alice Y. Tong, Yuriko Terada, Ryuji Higashikubo, Christian C. Frye, Margaret S. Harrison, Kohei Hashimoto, Amit I. Bery, Jon H. Ritter, Ruben G. Nava, Varun Puri, Brian W. Wong, Kory J. Lavine, Ankit Bharat, Alexander S. Krupnick, Andrew E. Gelman, Daniel Kreisel