Neutrophil extracellular traps induce endothelial dysfunction in systemic lupus erythematosus through the activation of matrix metalloproteinase-2

Annals of the rheumatic diseases (Impact Factor: 10.38). 02/2014; 74(7). DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204837
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The structural and functional integrity of the endothelium is crucial in maintaining vascular homeostasis and preventing atherosclerosis. Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have an increased risk of developing endothelial dysfunction and premature cardiovascular disease. Neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation is increased in SLE and has been proposed to contribute to endothelial damage, but the mechanism remains unclear.
To determine the mechanism by which enhanced NET formation by low-density granulocytes (LDGs) in SLE contributes to endothelial damage and disrupts the endothelium.
The putative role of NET-externalised matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in altering the functional integrity of the endothelium was examined. MMP-9 externalised by lupus LDGs during NET formation specifically impaired murine aortic endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation and induced endothelial cell apoptosis. Endothelial dysfunction correlated with the activation of endothelial MMP-2 by MMP-9 present in NETs, while inhibition of MMP-2 activation restored endothelium-dependent function and decreased NET-induced vascular cytotoxicity. Moreover, immunogenic complexes composed of MMP-9 and anti-MMP-9 were identified in SLE sera. These complexes, as well as anti-MMP-9 autoantibodies, induced NETosis and enhanced MMP-9 activity.
These observations implicate activation of endothelial MMP-2 by MMP-9 contained in NETs as an important player in endothelial dysfunction, and MMP-9 as a novel self-antigen in SLE. These results further support that aberrant NET formation plays pathogenic roles in SLE.

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    • "In the latter context a number of studies have indicated that aberrant NETosis may play a role in the underlying aetiology of a number of inflammatory human pathologies including preeclampsia, systemic lupus erythromatosus, rheumatoid arthritis, auto-antibody induced small vessel vasculitis and psoriasis [3], [4], [9]–[12]. In addition, NETs have become implicated in thrombosis, particularly deep vein thrombosis, by providing a scaffold for the coagulation process [13], [14]. "
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    PLoS ONE 05/2014; 9(5):e97088. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0097088 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Oxidative stress and oxidized high-density lipoprotein (HDL) are implicated as risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Yet, how HDL is oxidized and rendered dysfunctional in SLE remains unclear. Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), the levels of which are elevated in lupus, possess oxidant-generating enzymes, including myeloperoxidase (MPO), NADPH oxidase (NOX), and nitric oxide synthase (NOS). We hypothesized that NETs mediate HDL oxidation, impairing cholesterol efflux capacity (CEC).Methods Plasma MPO levels and CEC activity were examined in controls and lupus patients, and 3-chlorotyrosine (MPO specific) and 3-nitrotyrosine (derived from reactive nitrogen species) were quantified in human HDL. Multivariable linear models were used to estimate and test differences between groups. HDL was exposed to NETs from control and lupus neutrophils in the presence or absence of MPO, NOX, NOS inhibitors, and chloroquine (CQ). Murine HDL oxidation was quantified after NET inhibition in vivo.ResultsSLE patients displayed higher MPO levels and diminished CEC compared to controls. SLE HDL had higher 3-nitrotyrosine and 3-chlorotyrosine content than control HDL, with site-specific oxidation signatures on apolipoprotein A-I. Experiments with human and murine NETs confirmed that chlorination was mediated by MPO and NOX, and nitration by NOS and NOX. Mice with lupus treated with the NET inhibitor Cl-amidine displayed significantly decreased HDL oxidation. CQ inhibited NET formation in vitro.Conclusion Active NOS, NOX, and MPO within NETs significantly modify HDL, rendering the lipoprotein proatherogenic. Since NET formation is enhanced in SLE, these findings support a novel role for NET-derived lipoprotein oxidation in SLE-associated CVD and identify additional proatherogenic roles of neutrophils and putative protective roles of antimalarials in autoimmunity.
    Arthritis and Rheumatology 09/2014; 66(9). DOI:10.1002/art.38703
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