(1/3477) Blocking very late antigen-4 integrin decreases leukocyte entry and fatty streak formation in mice fed an atherogenic diet.

Atherosclerotic lesion development is characterized by the recruitment of leukocytes, principally monocytes, to the vessel wall. Considerable interest has been focused on the adhesion molecule(s) involved in leukocyte/endothelial interactions. The goal of the present study was to determine the role of the very late antigen-4 (VLA-4) integrin/ligand interaction in fatty streak development using murine models. Because alpha4 null mice are not viable, a peptidomimetic was used to block VLA-4-mediated leukocyte binding. The ability of a synthetic peptidomimetic of connecting segment-1 (CS-1 peptide) to block the recruitment of leukocytes and the accumulation of lipid in the aortic sinus of either wild-type mice (strain C57BL/6J) or mice with a low-density lipoprotein null mutation (LDLR-/-) maintained on an atherogenic diet was assessed. The active (Ac) CS-1 peptide or scrambled (Sc) CS-1 peptide was delivered subcutaneously into mice using a mini osmotic pump. Mice were exposed to the peptide for 24 to 36 hours before the onset of the atherogenic diet. In C57BL/6J mice, leukocyte entry into the aortic sinus, as assessed by en face preparations, was inhibited by the active peptide (Ac=28+/-4, Sc=54+/-6 monocytes/valve; P=0.004). Additionally, frozen sections stained with Oil Red O were analyzed to assess lipid accumulation in the aortic sinus. C57BL/6J mice that received the (Ac) compound demonstrated significantly reduced lesion areas as compared with mice that received the (Sc) peptide (Ac=4887+/-4438 microm2, Sc=15 009 +/-5619 microm2; P<0.0001). In a separate study, LDLR-/- mice were implanted with pumps containing either the (Ac) or (Sc) peptide before initiation of the atherogenic diet. Because LDLR-/- mice fed a chow diet displayed small lesions at 14 weeks, the effects of the peptide seen in these animals represented a change in early lipid accumulation rather than initiation. By using whole-mount preparations, the (Ac) but not the (Sc) peptide significantly reduced the area of lipid accumulation in the aortic sinus, resulting in an approximate 66% decrease. Plasma analysis from all studies revealed concentrations of peptide to be present at levels previously determined by in vitro analysis to block adhesion. (Ac) CS-1 peptide, which blocks VLA-4 on the leukocyte surface, is effective in reducing leukocyte recruitment and lipid accumulation in the aortic sinus. The present study provides in vivo evidence that the VLA-4 integrin plays an important role in the initiation of the atherosclerotic lesion and lipid accumulation, and it suggests a potential therapeutic strategy for this disease.  (+info)

(2/3477) Reversal of hyperlipidaemia in apolipoprotein C1 transgenic mice by adenovirus-mediated gene delivery of the low-density-lipoprotein receptor, but not by the very-low-density-lipoprotein receptor.

We have shown previously that human apolipoprotein (apo)C1 transgenic mice exhibit hyperlipidaemia, due primarily to an impaired clearance of very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) particles from the circulation. In the absence of at least the low-density-lipoprotein receptor (LDLR), it was shown that APOC1 overexpression in transgenic mice inhibited the hepatic uptake of VLDL via the LDLR-related protein. In the present study, we have now examined the effect of apoC1 on the binding of lipoproteins to both the VLDL receptor (VLDLR) and the LDLR. The binding specificity of the VLDLR and LDLR for apoC1-enriched lipoprotein particles was examined in vivo through adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of the VLDLR and the LDLR [giving rise to adenovirus-containing (Ad)-VLDLR and Ad-LDLR respectively] in APOC1 transgenic mice, LDLR-deficient (LDLR-/-) mice and wild-type mice. Remarkably, Ad-VLDLR treatment did not reduce hyperlipidaemia in transgenic mice overexpressing human APOC1, irrespective of both the level of transgenic expression and the presence of the LDLR, whereas Ad-VLDLR treatment did reverse hyperlipidaemia in LDLR-/- and wild-type mice. On the other hand, Ad-LDLR treatment strongly decreased plasma lipid levels in these APOC1 transgenic mice. These results suggest that apoC1 inhibits the clearance of lipoprotein particles via the VLDLR, but not via the LDLR. This hypothesis is corroborated by in vitro binding studies. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells expressing the VLDLR (CHO-VLDLR) or LDLR (CHO-LDLR) bound less APOC1 transgenic VLDL than wild-type VLDL. Intriguingly, however, enrichment with apoE enhanced dose-dependently the binding of wild-type VLDL to CHO-VLDLR cells (up to 5-fold), whereas apoE did not enhance the binding of APOC1 transgenic VLDL to these cells. In contrast, for binding to CHO-LDLR cells, both wild-type and APOC1 transgenic VLDL were stimulated upon enrichment with apoE. From these studies, we conclude that apoC1 specifically inhibits the apoE-mediated binding of triacylglycerol-rich lipoprotein particles to the VLDLR, whereas apoC1-enriched lipoproteins can still bind to the LDLR. The variability in specificity of these lipoprotein receptors for apoC1-containing lipoprotein particles provides further evidence for a regulatory role of apoC1 in the delivery of lipoprotein constituents to different tissues on which these receptors are located.  (+info)

(3/3477) Induction of low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) transcription by oncostatin M is mediated by the extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling pathway and the repeat 3 element of the LDLR promoter.

Oncostatin M (OM) activates the transcription of the human low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) in HepG2 cells through a sterol-independent mechanism. Our previous studies showed that mutations within the repeat 3 sequence of the LDLR promoter significantly decreased OM activity on LDLR promoter luciferase reporter constructs that contain the sterol responsive element-1 (repeat 2) and Sp1 binding sites (repeats 1 and 3). In this study, we investigated the signal transduction pathways that are involved in OM-induced LDLR transcription. In HepG2 cells, OM induced a rapid increase in LDLR mRNA expression, with increases detected at 30 min and maximal induction at 1 h. This OM effect was not blocked by protein synthesis inhibitors, inhibitors of p38 kinase, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, or c-Jun N-terminal kinase, but OM activity was completely abolished by pretreating cells with inhibitors of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) kinase (mitogen/ERK kinase (MEK)). To investigate whether the repeat 3 sequence of the LDLR promoter is the OM-responsive element that converts ERK activation at the promoter level, three luciferase reporters, pLDLR-TATA containing only the TATA-like elements of the promoter, pLDLR-R3 containing repeat 3 and the TATA-like elements, and pLDLR-234 containing repeats 1, 2, 3 and the TATA-like elements were constructed and transiently transfected into HepG2 cells. OM had no effect on the basal promoter construct pLDLR-TATA; however, including a single copy of repeat 3 sequence in the TATA vector (pLDLR-R3) resulted in a full OM response. The activity of OM on pLDLR-R3 was identical to that of pLDLR-234. Importantly, the ability of OM to increase luciferase activities in both pLDLR-R3- and pLDLR-234-transfected cells was blocked in a dose-dependent manner by inhibition of MEK. These results demonstrate that the mitogen-activated protein kinase MEK/ERK cascade is the essential signaling pathway by which OM activates LDLR gene transcription and provide the first evidence that the repeat 3 element is a new downstream target of ERK activation.  (+info)

(4/3477) Expression of stromelysin-3 in atherosclerotic lesions: regulation via CD40-CD40 ligand signaling in vitro and in vivo.

Stromelysin-3 is an unusual matrix metalloproteinase, being released in the active rather than zymogen form and having a distinct substrate specificity, targeting serine proteinase inhibitors (serpins), which regulate cellular functions involved in atherosclerosis. We report here that human atherosclerotic plaques (n = 7) express stromelysin-3 in situ, whereas fatty streaks (n = 5) and normal arterial specimens (n = 5) contain little or no stromelysin-3. Stromelysin-3 mRNA and protein colocalized with endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, and macrophages within the lesion. In vitro, usual inducers of matrix metalloproteinases such as interleukin-1, interferon-gamma, or tumor necrosis factor alpha did not augment stromelysin-3 in vascular wall cells. However, T cell-derived as well as recombinant CD40 ligand (CD40L, CD154), an inflammatory mediator recently localized in atheroma, induced de novo synthesis of stromelysin-3. In addition, stromelysin-3 mRNA and protein colocalized with CD40L and CD40 within atheroma. In accordance with the in situ and in vitro data obtained with human material, interruption of the CD40-CD40L signaling pathway in low density lipoprotein receptor-deficient hyperlipidemic mice substantially decreased expression of the enzyme within atherosclerotic plaques. These observations establish the expression of the unusual matrix metalloproteinase stromelysin-3 in human atherosclerotic lesions and implicate CD40-CD40L signaling in its regulation, thus providing a possible new pathway that triggers complications within atherosclerotic lesions.  (+info)

(5/3477) An endocytic pathway essential for renal uptake and activation of the steroid 25-(OH) vitamin D3.

Steroid hormones may enter cells by diffusion through the plasma membrane. However, we demonstrate here that some steroid hormones are taken up by receptor-mediated endocytosis of steroid-carrier complexes. We show that 25-(OH) vitamin D3 in complex with its plasma carrier, the vitamin D-binding protein, is filtered through the glomerulus and reabsorbed in the proximal tubules by the endocytic receptor megalin. Endocytosis is required to preserve 25-(OH) vitamin D3 and to deliver to the cells the precursor for generation of 1,25-(OH)2 vitamin D3, a regulator of the calcium metabolism. Megalin-/- mice are unable to retrieve the steroid from the glomerular filtrate and develop vitamin D deficiency and bone disease.  (+info)

(6/3477) The LDL receptor gene family, apolipoprotein B and cholesterol in embryonic development.

In recent years, a number of genes that are involved in cholesterol synthesis, its systemic or intercellular transport or lipid metabolism in general have been found to play important roles during embryonic development. In this article, we present a brief overview of these genes, their molecular functions as we understand them to date and our current interpretation of possible mechanisms by which genetic deficiency states might affect the development of the embryo, in particular the formation of the central nervous system.  (+info)

(7/3477) Transcription factors CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein beta and nuclear factor-Y bind to discrete regulatory elements in the very low density lipoprotein receptor promoter.

Expression of the very low density lipoprotein receptor (VLDL-R) is barely detectable in liver, but occurs in adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, heart, and placenta, where it is postulated to supply triglyceride to tissues that utilize fatty acids. To investigate its tissue-specific expression, cell lines were transfected with luciferase reporter gene constructs driven by the 5'-flanking region of the VLDL-R gene. Transcriptional activity of a 4.2-kb promoter fragment was 5-fold higher in BeWo placental cells than in Huh-7 hepatoma cells, consistent with relative endogenous expression of the VLDL-R. By deletion analysis, DNase I protection assays and site-directed mutagenesis, two regulatory elements were essential for maximal promoter activity in BeWo cells: footprint site D (-856 to -830) and an inverted CCAAT box (-703 to -707). Mutation of either element reduced promoter activity by 60% in BeWo cells, but had little effect in Huh-7 cells, suggesting that these elements direct cell-type specific transcription. Electrophoretic mobility-shift assays with BeWo nuclear extracts revealed that the inverted CCAAT box binds transcription factor NF-Y, and site D binds CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein b (C/EBPbeta) and minor amounts of C/EBPalpha and C/EBPdelta. Overexpression of a dominant negative NF-YA vector confirmed involvement of NF-Y in the regulation of the VLDL-receptor gene through the CCAAT box. However overexpression of C/EBP could not stimulate transcription from the VLDL-receptor promoter nor from site D fused to a heterologous promoter, suggesting that the simultaneous binding of an accessory factor(s) may be necessary for C/EBP transactivation via the D site.  (+info)

(8/3477) Identification of a novel Arg-->Cys mutation in the LDL receptor that contributes to spontaneous hypercholesterolemia in pigs.

We previously carried out genetic and metabolic studies in a partially inbred herd of pigs carrying cholesterol-elevating mutations. Quantitative pedigree analysis indicated that apolipoprotein (apo)B and a second major gene were responsible for the hypercholesterolemia in these animals. In this study, we assessed LDL receptor function by three different methods: ligand blots of liver membranes using beta-very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) as a ligand; low density lipoprotein (LDL)-dependent proliferation of T-lymphocytes; and direct binding of 125I-labeled LDL to cultured skin fibroblasts. All three methods demonstrated that LDL receptor ligands bound with decreased affinity to the LDL receptor in these animals. In skin fibroblasts from the hypercholesterolemic pigs, the Kd of binding was about 4-fold higher than in cells from normal pigs. The cDNA of the pig LDL receptor from normal and hypercholesterolemic pigs was isolated and sequenced. We identified a missense mutation that results in an Arg'Cys substitution at the position corresponding to Arg94 of the human LDL receptor. The mutation is in the third repeat of the ligand binding domain of the receptor. By single-stranded conformational polymorphism (SSCP) analysis, we studied the relationship between LDL receptor genotype and plasma cholesterol phenotype. In contrast to humans, the hypercholesterolemia associated with the LDL receptor mutation in pigs was expressed as a recessive trait. The LDL receptor mutation made a far more significant contribution to hypercholesterolemia than did the apoB mutation, consistent with observations made in human subjects with apoB mutations. Within each genotypic group (mutated apoB or mutated receptor), there was a wide range in plasma cholesterol. As the animals were on a well-controlled low-fat diet, this suggests that there are additional genetic factors that influence the penetrance of cholesterol-elevating mutations.  (+info)