Erythropoietin suppresses the formation of macrophage foam cells: role of liver X receptor alpha.
ABSTRACT In addition to the hematopoietic effect of erythropoietin, increasing evidence suggests that erythropoietin also exerts protective effects for cardiovascular diseases. However, the role of erythropoietin and its underlying mechanism in macrophage foam cell formation are poorly understood.
Compared with wild-type specimens, erythropoietin was increased in atherosclerotic aortas of apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE(-/-)) mice, mainly in the macrophage foam cells of the lesions. Erythropoietin levels in culture medium and macrophages were significantly elevated in response to oxidized low-density lipoprotein in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, erythropoietin markedly attenuated lipid accumulation in oxidized low-density lipoprotein-treated macrophages, a result that was due to an increase in cholesterol efflux. Erythropoietin treatment significantly increased ATP-binding cassette transporters (ABC) A1 and ABCG1 mRNA and protein levels without affecting protein expression of scavenger receptors, including scavenger receptor-A, CD36, and scavenger receptor-BI. The upregulation of ABCA1 and ABCG1 by erythropoietin resulted from liver X receptor alpha activation, which was confirmed by its prevention on expression of ABCA1 and ABCG1 after pharmacological or small interfering RNA inhibition of liver X receptor alpha. Moreover, the erythropoietin-mediated attenuation on lipid accumulation was abolished by such inhibition. Finally, reduced lipid accumulation and marked increase in ABCA1 and ABCG1 were demonstrated in erythropoietin-overexpressed macrophages.
Our data suggest that erythropoietin suppresses foam cell formation via the liver X receptor alpha-dependent upregulation of ABCA1 and ABCG1.
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ABSTRACT: Liver X receptors (LXRs) belong to the nuclear receptor superfamily of ligand-dependent transcription factors. LXRs are activated by oxysterols, metabolites of cholesterol, and therefore act as intracellular sensors of this lipid. There are two LXR genes (α and β) that display distinct tissue/cell expression profiles. LXRs interact with regulatory sequences in target genes as heterodimers with retinoid X receptor. Such direct targets of LXR actions include important genes implicated in the control of lipid homeostasis, particularly reverse cholesterol transport. In addition, LXRs attenuate the transcription of genes associated with the inflammatory response indirectly by transrepression. In this review, we describe recent evidence that both highlights the key roles of LXRs in atherosclerosis and inflammation and provides novel insights into the mechanisms underlying their actions. In addition, we discuss the major limitations of LXRs as therapeutic targets for the treatment of atherosclerosis and how these are being addressed.Current Atherosclerosis Reports 03/2012; 14(3):284-93. · 2.92 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Accumulation of foam cells in the intima is a hallmark of early-stage atherosclerotic lesions. Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb761) has been reported to exert anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties in atherosclerosis, yet the significance and the molecular mechanisms of action of EGb761 in the formation of macrophage foam cells are not fully understood. Treatment with EGb761 resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL)-mediated cholesterol accumulation in macrophages, a consequence that was due to a decrease in cholesterol uptake and an increase in cholesterol efflux. Additionally, EGb761 significantly down-regulated the mRNA and protein expression of class A scavenger receptor (SR-A) by decreasing expression of activator protein 1 (AP-1); however, EGb761 increased the protein stability of ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) by reducing calpain activity without affecting ABCA1 mRNA expression. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting haem oxygenase-1 (HO-1) abolished the EGb761-induced protective effects on the expression of AP-1, SR-A, ABCA1, and calpain activity. Accordingly, EGb761-mediated suppression of lipid accumulation in foam cells was also abrogated by HO-1 siRNA. Moreover, the lesion size of atherosclerosis was smaller in EGb761-treated, apolipoprotein E-deficient mice compared with the vehicle-treated mice, and the expression of HO-1, SR-A, and ABCA1 in aortas was modulated similar to that observed in macrophages. These findings suggest that EGb761 confers a protection from the formation of foam cells by a novel HO-1-dependent regulation of cholesterol homeostasis in macrophages.Cardiovascular research 12/2010; 88(3):415-23. · 5.80 Impact Factor
Article: Genetics of cholesterol efflux.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Plasma levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) show an inverse association with coronary heart disease (CHD). As a biological trait, HDL-C is strongly genetically determined, with a heritability index ranging from 40 % to 60 %. HDL represents an appealing therapeutic target due to its beneficial pleiotropic effects in preventing CHD. This review focuses on the genetic basis of cellular cholesterol efflux, the rate-limiting step in HDL biogenesis. There are several monogenic disorders (e.g., Tangier disease, caused by mutations within ABCA1) affecting HDL biogenesis. Importantly, many disorders of cellular cholesterol homeostasis cause a reduced HDL-C. We integrate information from family studies and linkage analyses with that derived from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and review the recent identification of micro-RNAs (miRNA) involved in cellular cholesterol metabolism. The identification of genomic pathways related to HDL may help pave the way for novel therapeutic approaches to promote cellular cholesterol efflux as a therapeutic modality to prevent atherosclerosis.Current Atherosclerosis Reports 04/2012; 14(3):235-46. · 2.92 Impact Factor