The Role of Platelet-Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 in Atheroma Formation Varies Depending on the Site-Specific Hemodynamic Environment
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: Polymorphisms in the platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule (PECAM-1)-1 gene are linked to increased risk of coronary artery disease. Because PECAM-1 has been demonstrated to form a mechanosensory complex that can modulate inflammatory responses in murine arterial endothelial cells, we hypothesized that PECAM-1 contributes to atherogenesis in a shear-dependent and site-specific manner.Approach and Results-ApoE(-/-) mice that were wild-type, heterozygous, or deficient in PECAM-1 were placed on a high-fat diet. Detailed analysis of the aorta at sites with differing hemodynamics revealed that PECAM-1-deficient mice had reduced disease in areas of disturbed flow, whereas plaque burden was increased in areas of steady, laminar flow. In concordance with these observations, bone marrow chimera experiments revealed that hematopoietic PECAM-1 resulted in accelerated atheroma formation in areas of laminar and disturbed flow, however endothelial PECAM-1 moderated disease progression in areas of high sheer stress. Moreover, using shear stress-modifying carotid cuffs, PECAM-1 was shown to promote macrophage recruitment into lesions developing in areas of low shear stress. CONCLUSIONS: PECAM-1 on bone marrow cells is proatherogenic irrespective of the hemodynamic environment, however endothelial cell PECAM-1 is antiatherogenic in high shear environments. Thus, targeting this pathway therapeutically would require a cell-type and context-specific strategy.
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ABSTRACT: PECAM-1 (also known as CD31) is a cellular adhesion and signaling receptor comprising six extracellular immunoglobulin (Ig)-like homology domains, a short transmembrane domain and a 118 amino acid cytoplasmic domain that becomes serine and tyrosine phosphorylated upon cellular activation. PECAM-1 expression is restricted to blood and vascular cells. In circulating platelets and leukocytes, PECAM-1 functions largely as an inhibitory receptor that, via regulated sequential phosphorylation of its cytoplasmic domain, limits cellular activation responses. PECAM-1 is also highly expressed at endothelial cell intercellular junctions, where it functions as a mechanosensor, as a regulator of leukocyte trafficking and in the maintenance of endothelial cell junctional integrity. In this review, we will describe (1) the functional domains of PECAM-1 and how they contribute to its barrier-enhancing properties, (2) how the physical properties of PECAM-1 influence its subcellular localization and its ability to influence endothelial cell barrier function, (3) various stimuli that initiate PECAM-1 signaling and/or function at the endothelial junction and (4) cross-talk of PECAM-1 with other junctional molecules, which can influence endothelial cell function.Cell and Tissue Research 01/2014; 355(3). DOI:10.1007/s00441-013-1779-3 · 3.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Atherosclerosis may be triggered by an elevated net transport of lipid-carrying macromolecules from plasma into the arterial wall. We hypothesised that whether lesions are of the thin-cap fibroatheroma (TCFA) type or are less fatty and more fibrous depends on the degree of elevation of transport, with greater uptake leading to the former. We further hypothesised that the degree of elevation can depend on haemodynamic wall shear stress characteristics and nitric oxide synthesis. Placing a tapered cuff around the carotid artery of apolipoprotein E -/- mice modifies patterns of shear stress and eNOS expression, and triggers lesion development at the upstream and downstream cuff margins; upstream but not downstream lesions resemble the TCFA. We measured wall uptake of a macromolecular tracer in the carotid artery of C57bl/6 mice after cuff placement. Uptake was elevated in the regions that develop lesions in hyperlipidaemic mice and was significantly more elevated where plaques of the TCFA type develop. Computational simulations and effects of reversing the cuff orientation indicated a role for solid as well as fluid mechanical stresses. Inhibiting NO synthesis abolished the difference in uptake between the upstream and downstream sites. The data support the hypothesis that excessively elevated wall uptake of plasma macromolecules initiates the development of the TCFA, suggest that such uptake can result from solid and fluid mechanical stresses, and are consistent with a role for NO synthesis. Modification of wall transport properties might form the basis of novel methods for reducing plaque rupture.PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e115728. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0115728 · 3.53 Impact Factor
Biorheology 01/2013; 50(5):223-39. DOI:10.3233/BIR-130646 · 1.59 Impact Factor