[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Uremia accelerates formation of atherosclerosis-like lesions in apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE(-/-)) mice. In this study, we compared gene expression patterns in classical and uremic atherosclerosis.
High-density oligonucleotide microarray analyses were performed with aortic RNA from 5/6 nephrectomized (NX) and sham-operated mice. After 12 weeks, NX apoE(-/-) mice had more atherosclerosis and 24 genes were differentially expressed as compared with sham apoE(-/-) mice. Nine genes expressed in muscle cells displayed reduced expression (3.3- to 142-fold, P<0.05), whereas osteopontin gene expression was increased 8.7-fold (P<0.05) in NX mice. Studies of NX wild-type mice suggested that the changes in NX apoE(-/-) mice were dependent on hypercholesterolemia. Nevertheless, lesioned versus nonlesioned areas of aortas from nonuremic apoE(-/-) mice with classical atherosclerosis displayed less pronounced reductions in expression of the muscle cell related genes than seen in NX apoE(-/-) mice even though the osteopontin gene expression was increased approximately 15-fold. Electron microscopy showed more vacuolized and necrotic smooth muscle cells within the media underneath both nonlesioned and lesioned intima in NX than in sham apoE(-/-) mice.
The results suggest that uremic vasculopathy in apoE(-/-) mice, in addition to intimal atherosclerosis, is characterized by a uremia-specific medial smooth muscle cell degeneration, which appears to be accentuated by hypercholesterolemia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic renal failure markedly accelerates atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein-E-deficient mice, but the mechanism is unknown. The recruitment of inflammatory cells in the arterial wall by vascular adhesion molecules plays a key role in the formation of classical atherosclerosis. This study examines whether the expression of vascular adhesion molecules is increased in uremic atherosclerosis. Uremia was induced by 5/6 nephrectomy; control mice were sham-operated. After 2 wk of uremia, no lesion formation could be demonstrated in uremic or control mice. After 12 wk, aortas from uremic mice had a 9.8-fold increase of the aortic plaque area fraction compared with control mice (P < 0.0001). The aortic expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) mRNA in uremic mice was 215 +/- 31% (P < 0.05) and 243 +/- 55% (P < 0.05) of that in controls after 2 and 12 wk, respectively (n = 9 x 4). In contrast, aortic expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) mRNA in uremic mice was unchanged after 2 wk but increased to 237 +/- 40% (P < 0.01) of that in control mice after 12 wk. On immunohistochemistry of aortas from uremic mice, ICAM-1 was predominantly present in endothelial cells both in nonlesioned and lesioned aortas, whereas VCAM-1 was predominantly present in the medial smooth muscle cell layer in lesioned aortas. The plasma concentration of soluble ICAM-1 (sICAM-1) (but not of sVCAM-1) was slightly elevated after 2 wk of uremia. In contrast, both sICAM-1 and sVCAM-1 plasma concentrations were markedly higher in uremic than control mice after 12 wk. These results suggest that uremic atherosclerosis is preceded by an upregulation of ICAM-1 expression in arterial endothelium and that formation of early uremic lesions is accompanied by upregulation of VCAM-1 expression in the medial smooth muscle cell layer.
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 07/2004; 15(6):1495-503. DOI:10.1097/01.ASN.0000128371.33195.7B · 9.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adoptive transfer of donor cells in mice is widely used in research on the function and metabolism of lymphocytes. We have evaluated new approaches for quantifying and visualizing adopted cells in recipient mouse tissue. We injected spleen cells from male beta-galactosidase (LacZ) transgenic mice into female wild type mice and assessed the robustness of real-time PCR for quantifying the accumulation of the donor cells in blood and tissues of the recipient mice. The clearance of donor cells from the blood and their recruitment in lung, spleen, liver, and kidney was almost identical when obtained with amplification of the donor cell-specific LacZ or sex-determining region on the Y-chromosome (SRY) gene. We found, however, a marked difference in the PCR amplification efficiency of genomic DNA of different tissues, which should be taken into account when comparing recruitment of donor cells in different tissues. To visualize adoptively transferred cells, we used either spleen cells from transgenic mice, which express a Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) transgene or spleen cells that had been fluorescence labeled ex vivo with CellTracker Orange. Whereas ex vivo and in vivo labeled donor cells could easily be detected in recipient mouse tissue by laser scanning confocal microscopy, only CellTracker Orange-labeled cells could be detected by conventional fluorescence microscopy due to autofluorescence in the examined tissues. Importantly, CellTracker Orange labeling did not appear to affect the blood clearance or the tissue accumulation of the donor cells. Together, the results demonstrate the usefulness of new protocols for quantifying and visualizing adoptively transferred cells by genetic tracing or fluorescence labeling.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lymphocyte accumulation in the arterial intima affects development of atherosclerotic lesions. We studied the kinetics of lymphocyte accumulation in the arterial wall by injecting lymphocytes from male LacZ transgenic mice into female apolipoprotein-E-deficient mice. Recipient mouse aortas were removed and separated into lesioned and non-lesioned parts 2, 24, 48, or 72 h later. The accumulation of donor lymphocytes was quantified with real-time PCR of donor lymphocyte-specific genes. The accumulation of lymphocytes in the lesioned parts of aorta decreased with increasing lesion severity (r=-0.74, P=0.0005, n=18). Moreover, the accumulation of lymphocytes in the lesioned part of aorta was larger (392+/-108%, P=0.016) compared with the accumulation in the non-lesioned part in mice with mild atherosclerosis, whereas it was smaller (58+/-19%, P<0.01) compared with the accumulation in the non-lesioned part in mice with severe atherosclerosis. The results suggest that aortic recruitment of blood lymphocytes is most pronounced in early stages of lesion formation.