Disruption of hedgehog signalling in ApoE - /- mice reduces plasma lipid levels, but increases atherosclerosis due to enhanced lipid uptake by macrophages.
ABSTRACT Embryonic pathways are often re-expressed in adult pathology. Here we investigated the role of the morphogen hedgehog (hh), which we found to be re-expressed in atherosclerotic plaques. Male ApoE - /- mice were treated for 12 weeks with an anti-hh antibody (5E1) or a control IgG (1E6) starting at the age of 6 or 18 weeks. Inhibition of hh signalling induced a significant increase in total plaque area in the aortic arch, a result of an increase (54% and 36%, respectively) in the area of advanced plaques (atheromata). In mice treated with anti-hh, plaques contained large (18-35% > ctrl), lipid-filled, sometimes multinucleated macrophage foam cells. Plasma cholesterol levels decreased after anti-hh treatment. In bone marrow-derived macrophages, foam cell formation was enhanced after inhibition of hh signalling. Anti-hh treatment caused a 54-75% increase in early oxLDL uptake (10-240 min), which was scavenger receptor-mediated. After 3-24 h of oxLDL incubation, intense Oil red O staining as well as increased amounts of cholesterol esters were present in these macrophages after anti-hh treatment. Activation of the HH-signalling cascade by recombinant Shh induced a decrease in oxLDL uptake. Here we show that the hh-signalling pathway is one of the morphogenic pathways that regulate plasma lipid levels and atherosclerosis development and progression.
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ABSTRACT: Macrophage-derived foam cell formation elicited by oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) is the hallmark of early atherogenesis. Detection of foam cell formation is conventionally practiced by Oil Red O (ORO) staining of lipid-laden macrophages. Other methods include 1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3'3'-tetra-methylindocyanide percholorate (DiI)-labeled oxLDL (DiI-oxLDL) uptake and Nile Red staining. The purpose of the present study is to report an optimized method for assessing foam cell formation in cultured macrophages by ORO staining and DiI-oxLDL uptake. After incubation with oxLDL (50 μg/ml) for 24 h, the macrophages were fixed, stained with ORO for just 1 min, pronounced lipid droplets were clearly observed in more than 90% of the macrophages. To test the in vivo applicability of this method, lesions (or foam cells) of cryosections of aortic sinus or primary mouse peritoneal macrophages from ApoE deficient mice fed a high cholesterol diet were successfully stained. In another set of experiments, treatment of macrophages with DiI-oxLDL (10 μg/ml) for 4 h resulted in significant increase in oxLDL uptake in macrophages as demonstrated by confocol microscopy and flow cytometry. We conclude that the optimized ORO staining and fluorescent labeled oxLDL uptake techniques are very useful for assessing intracellular lipid accumulation in macrophages that are simpler and more rapid than currently used methods.Cytotechnology 11/2010; 62(5):473-81. · 1.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Normally macrophages localized in the arterial vessel wall perform the "reverse transfer" of cholesterol, which includes endocytosis of low density lipoproteins (LDL), cholesterol transfer to newly formed high density lipoprotein particles, and their following elimination by the liver. The homeostatic function of macrophages for cholesterol involves a system of lipid sensors. Oxysterol sensors LXRs, oxysterol and cholesterol sensors INSIG and SCAP acting through controlled transcription factors SREBP, as well as sensors for oxidized fatty acids and their derivatives, PPAR, are the best studied. Activation of LXR and PPAR is also accompanied by inhibition of macrophage functions related to inflammation. Accumulation of oxidized and otherwise modified LDL in the subendothelial space induced by endothelium injury, infection, or other pathogenic factors instead of stimulation of the homeostatic functions of macrophages leads to their weakening with a concurrent increase in the inflammatory potential of these cells. These shifts seem to drive the transformation of macrophages into foam cells, which form the core of sclerotic plaques. The intervention of another lipid sensor, TLR4, can trigger such a radical change in the functional activity of macrophages. The interaction of modified LDL with this signaling receptor results in inhibition of the homeostatic oxysterol signaling, induction of additional LDL transporters, and activation of the phagocytic function of macrophages. The re-establishment of cholesterol homeostasis under these circumstances can be achieved by administration of LXR and PPARgamma agonists. Therefore, it is urgent to design ligands with reduced side effects.Biochemistry (Moscow) 07/2010; 75(7):793-810. · 1.15 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In this paper, an efficient l1-regularized reconstruction method named the primal-dual interior-point (PDIP) method is presented for three-dimensional bioluminescence tomography (BLT) based on the adaptive finite element framework. Taking into account the sparse characteristic of the bioluminescent source, the BLT inverse problem is considered to be a linear programming problem and is represented by its primal and dual form. The source localization and quantification are obtained by solving the primal-dual Newton equation system. The comparisons between PDIP and the classical conjugate gradient least square (CGLS) algorithm are implemented to validate our method. Results from numerical simulation and an in vivo mouse experiment demonstrate the credibility and the potential of the proposed method in practical BLT reconstruction.Optics Communications 01/2011; 284(24):5871-5876. · 1.44 Impact Factor