[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Carotid atherosclerosis is the primary cause of ischemic stroke. To identify genetic factors contributing to carotid atherosclerosis, we performed quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis using female mice derived from an intercross between C57BL/6J (B6) and BALB/cJ (BALB) apolipoprotein E (Apoe-/-) mice. 266 F2 mice were started on a Western diet at 6 weeks of age and fed the diet for 12 weeks. Atherosclerotic lesions in the left carotid bifurcation and plasma lipid levels were measured. 130 microsatellite markers across the entire genome were genotyped. Three significant QTLs, Cath1 on chromosome (Chr) 12, Cath2 on Chr5, and Cath3 on Chr13, and four suggestive QTLs on Chr6, Chr9, Chr17, and Chr18 were identified for carotid lesions. The Chr6 locus replicated a suggestive QTL and was named Cath4. Six QTLs for HDL, three QTLs for non-HDL cholesterol, and three QTLs for triglyceride were found. Of these, a significant QTL for non-HDL on Chr1 at 60.3 cM, named Nhdl13, and a suggestive QTL for HDL on ChrX were new. A significant locus for HDL (Hdlq5) was overlapping with a suggestive locus for carotid lesions on Chr9. A significant correlation between carotid lesion sizes and HDL cholesterol levels was observed in the F2 population (R=-0.153, P=0.0133). We have identified several new QTLs for carotid atherosclerosis and the locus on Chr9 may exert effect through interactions with HDL.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: C3H/HeJ (C3H) mice are extremely resistant to atherosclerosis, especially males. To understand the underlying genetic basis, we performed quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis on a male F2 (the second generation from an intercross between 2 inbred strains) cohort derived from an intercross between C3H and C57BL/6 (B6) apolipoprotein E-deficient (Apoe(-/-)) mice.
Two hundred forty-six male F2 mice were started on a Western diet at 8 weeks of age and kept on the diet for 5 weeks. Atherosclerotic lesions in the aortic root and fasting plasma lipid levels were measured. One hundred thirty-four microsatellite markers across the entire genome were genotyped. Four significant QTLs on chromosomes (Chr) 2, 4, 9, and 15 and 4 suggestive loci on Chr1, Chr4, and Chr7 were identified for atherosclerotic lesions. Unexpectedly, the C3H allele was associated with increased lesion formation for 2 of the 4 significant QTLs. Six loci for high-density lipoprotein (HDL), 6 for non-HDL cholesterol, and 3 for triglycerides were also identified. The QTL for atherosclerosis on Chr9 replicated Ath29, originally mapped in a female F2 cohort derived from B6 and C3H Apoe(-/-) mice. This locus coincided with a QTL for HDL, and there was a moderate, but statistically significant, correlation between atherosclerotic lesion sizes and plasma HDL cholesterol levels in F2 mice.
These data indicate that most atherosclerosis susceptibility loci are distinct from those for plasma lipids except for the Chr9 locus, which exerts effect through interactions with HDL.
Journal of the American Heart Association. 01/2013; 2(4):e000260.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies in mice have revealed genetic factors contributing to atherosclerosis that are independent of known risk factors.
These factors appear to act locally, at the level of the vessel wall. In this review, we discuss these studies and summarize
some of the cellular and molecular interactions that may be involved. We also outline the approaches for the identification
of such factors in humans.
Current Atherosclerosis Reports 04/2012; 2(5):380-389. · 2.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diabetic patients have an increased risk of developing atherosclerosis and related complications compared with nondiabetic individuals. The increased cardiovascular risk associated with diabetes is due in part to genetic variations that influence both glucose homeostasis and atherosclerotic lesion growth. Mouse strains C57BL/6J (B6) and BALB/cJ (BALB) exhibit distinct differences in fasting plasma glucose and atherosclerotic lesion size when deficient in apolipoprotein E (Apoe(-/-)). Quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis was performed to determine genetic factors influencing the 2 phenotypes.
Female F(2) mice (n=266) were generated from an intercross between B6.Apoe(-/-) and BALB.Apoe(-/-) mice and fed a Western diet for 12 weeks. Atherosclerotic lesions in the aortic root, fasting plasma glucose, and body weight were measured. 130 microsatellite markers across the entire genome were genotyped. Four significant QTLs, Ath1 on chromosome (Chr) 1, Ath41 on Chr2, Ath42 on Chr5, and Ath29 on Chr9, and 1 suggestive QTL on Chr4, were identified for atherosclerotic lesion size. Four significant QTLs, Bglu3 and Bglu12 on Chr1, Bglu13 on Chr5, Bglu15 on Chr12, and 2 suggestive QTLs on Chr9 and Chr15 were identified for fasting glucose levels on the chow diet. Two significant QTLs, Bglu3 and Bglu13, and 1 suggestive locus on Chr8 were identified for fasting glucose on the Western diet. One significant locus on Chr1 and 2 suggestive loci on Chr9 and Chr19 were identified for body weight. Ath1 and Ath42 coincided with Bglu3 and Bglu13, respectively, in the confidence interval.
We have identified novel QTLs that have major influences on atherosclerotic lesion size and glucose homeostasis. The colocalization of QTLs for atherosclerosis and diabetes suggests possible genetic connections between the 2 diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bglu3 is a quantitative trait locus for fasting glucose on distal chromosome 1 identified in an intercross between C57BL/6 (B6) and C3H/HeJ (C3H) apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE(-/-)) mice. This locus was subsequently replicated in two separate mouse intercrosses. The objective of this study was to characterize Bglu3 through construction and analysis of a congenic strain and identify underlying candidate genes. Congenic mice were constructed by introgressing a genomic region harboring Bglu3 from C3H.apoE(-/-) into B6.apoE(-/-) mice. Mice were started with a Western diet at 6 wk of age and maintained on the diet for 12 wk. Gene expression in the liver was analyzed by microarrays. Congenic mice had significantly higher fasting glucose levels and developed more significant glucose intolerance compared with B6.apoE(-/-) mice on the Western diet. Microarray analysis revealed 336 genes to be differentially expressed in the liver of congenic mice. Further pathway analysis suggested a role for acute phase response signaling in regulating glucose intolerance. Apcs, encoding an acute phase response protein serum amyloid P (SAP), is located underneath the linkage peak of Bglu3. Multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms between B6 and C3H mice were detected within and surrounding Apcs. Apcs expression in the liver was significantly higher in congenic and C3H mice compared with B6 mice. The Western diet consumption led to a gradual rise in plasma SAP levels, which was accompanied by rising fasting glucose in both B6 and C3H apoE(-/-) mice. Expression of C3H Apcs in B6.apoE(-/-) mice aggravated glucose intolerance. Bglu3 is confirmed to be a locus affecting diabetes susceptibility, and Apcs is a probable candidate gene.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is associated with an increased risk of atherosclerotic vascular disease, but it is unknown whether the other way around is true too. C57BL/6 (B6) and BALB/cJ (BALB) are two mouse strains that differ markedly in their susceptibility to atherosclerosis. In this study we investigated the development of diet-induced T2DM in these two strains.
When deficient in apolipoprotein E (apoE(-/-)) and fed a Western diet for 12 weeks, atherosclerosis-susceptible B6 mice developed significant hyperglycemia. In contrast, atherosclerosis-resistant BALB apoE(-/-) mice had much lower plasma glucose levels than B6.apoE(-/-) mice on either chow or Western diet and during an intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test. In response to glucose BALB.apoE(-/-) mice displayed both the first and second phases of insulin secretion but the second phase of insulin secretion was absent in B6.apoE(-/-) mice. In response to insulin B6.apoE(-/-) mice showed a deeper and longer-lasting fall in blood glucose levels while BALB.apoE(-/-) mice showed little reduction in glucose levels. Pancreatic islet area of BALB.apoE(-/-) mice on light microscopy nearly doubled the area of B6.apoE(-/-) mice. Most circulating proinflammatory cytokines were lower in BALB.apoE(-/-) than in B6.apoE(-/-) mice on the Western diet, as determined by protein arrays. Increased macrophage infiltration in islets was observed in B6.apoE(-/-) mice by immunostaining for Mac2 and also by flow cytometry.
This study demonstrates that defects in insulin secretion rather than defects in insulin resistance explain the marketed difference in susceptibility to T2DM in the B6.apoE(-/-) and BALB.apoE(-/-) mouse model. A smaller islet mass and more prominent islet inflammation may explain the vulnerability of B6.apoE(-/-) mice to diet-induced diabetes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously identified two closely linked quantitative trait loci (QTL) on distal chromosome 1 contributing to major variations in plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels in an intercross derived from C57BL/6 (B6) and C3H/HeJ (C3H) apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE(-/-)) mice. Soat1, encoding sterol o-acyltransferase 1, is a functional candidate gene located underneath the proximal linkage peak. We sequenced the coding region of Soat1 and identified four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) between B6 and C3H mice. Two of the SNPs resulted in amino-acid substitutions (Ile147Val and His205Tyr). Functional assay revealed an increased enzyme activity of Soat1 in peritoneal macrophages of C3H mice relative to those of B6 mice despite comparable protein expression levels. Allelic variants of Soat1 were associated with variations in plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels in an intercross between B6.apoE(-/-) and C3H.apoE(-/-) mice. Inheritance of the C3H allele resulted in significantly higher plasma lipid levels than inheritance of the B6 allele. Soat1 variants were also significantly linked to major variations in plasma esterified cholesterol levels but not with free cholesterol levels. Trangenic expression of C3H Soat1 in B6.apoE(-/-) mice resulted in elevations of plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels. These results indicate that Soat1 is a QTL gene contributing to hyperlipidemia.
PLoS ONE 10/2011; 6(10):e25344. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ath29 is an atherosclerosis susceptibility locus on chromosome 9 identified in an intercross between C57BL/6 (B6) and C3H/HeJ (C3H) apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE(-/-)) mice. This locus was subsequently replicated in two separate intercrosses that developed early or advanced atherosclerotic lesions. The objective of this study was to characterize Ath29 through construction and analysis of a congenic strain and identify underlying candidate genes. A congenic line was constructed by introgressing the chromosomal segment harboring Ath29 from C3H.apoE(-/-) into B6.apoE(-/-) mice. Congenic mice developed significantly smaller early and advance atherosclerotic lesions than B6.apoE(-/-) mice. Microarray analysis revealed 317 genes to be differentially expressed in the aorta of congenic mice compared with B6.apoE(-/-) mice. Pathway analysis of these genes suggested the Ca(2+) signaling pathway to be implicated in regulating atherosclerosis susceptibility. Rcn2 is located underneath the linkage peak of Ath29 and involved in Ca(2+) signaling. Multiple single-nucleotide polymorphisms between B6 and C3H mice were detected within and surrounding Rcn2 with one single-nucleotide polymorphism falling within an upstream cAMP response element. Immunostaining demonstrated its expression in atherosclerotic lesions. Knockdown of Rcn2 with small interfering RNAs resulted in significant reductions in both baseline and oxidized phospholipid-induced VCAM-1 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 expression by endothelial cells. Ath29 is confirmed to be a major atherosclerosis susceptibility locus affecting both early and advanced lesion formation in mice, and Rcn2 is identified as a novel regulator of cytokine expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: C3H/HeJ (C3H) mice develop much smaller atherosclerotic lesions than C57BL/6 (B6) mice when deficient in apolipoprotein E (apoE⁻(/)⁻) or fed an atherogenic diet. The 2 strains differ in H2 haplotypes, with B6 having H2(b) and C3H having H2(k). C3.SW-H2(b)/SnJ (C3.SW) is a congenic strain of C3H/HeJ in which H2(k) is replaced with H2(b).
We performed bone marrow transplantation and found that atherosclerosis-resistant C3.SW.apoE⁻(/)⁻ mice reconstituted with bone marrow from either C3.SW.apoE⁻(/)⁻ or B6.apoE⁻(/)⁻ mice after lethal irradiation had significantly larger atherosclerotic lesions than B6.apoE⁻(/)⁻ mice receiving identical treatments and much larger lesions than C3H.apoE⁻(/)⁻ mice reconstituted with syngeneic bone marrow. For syngeneic transplantation, C3.SW.apoE⁻(/)⁻ mice exhibited a 21-fold increase in lesion size over C3H.apoE⁻(/)⁻ mice (152 800±21 937 versus 7060±2290 μm²/section) and a near 4-fold increase over B6.apoE⁻(/)⁻ mice (40 529±4675 μm²/section). C3.SW.apoE⁻(/)⁻ mice reconstituted with syngeneic marrow exhibited enhanced lesion formation relative to those reconstituted with B6 marrow (152 800±21 937 versus 107 000±9374 μm²/section; P=0.067). Sublethal irradiation led to a 6-fold increase of lesion size in C3.SW.apoE⁻(/)⁻ mice (9795±2804 versus 1550±607 μm²/section; P=0.008). Wild-type C3.SW mice reconstituted with apoE(+/+) or apoE⁻(/)⁻ bone marrow had significantly larger atherosclerotic lesions than C3H mice receiving identical treatments on an atherogenic diet.
These results indicate that gene(s) within the H2 region have a dramatic impact on radiation-enhanced atherosclerosis, and their effect is conveyed partially through bone marrow-derived cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inbred mouse strains C57BL/6J (B6) and C3H/HeJ (C3H) exhibit marked differences in neointimal formation after arterial injury when deficient in apolipoprotein E (apoE(-/-)) and fed a Western diet. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis was performed on an intercross between B6.apoE(-/-) and C3H.apoE(-/-) mice to determine genetic factors contributing to the phenotype.
Female B6.apoE(-/-) mice were crossed with male C3H.apoE(-/-) mice to generate F(1)s, which were intercrossed to generate 204 male F(2) progeny. At 10 weeks of age, F(2)s underwent endothelium denudation injury to the left common carotid artery. Mice were fed a Western diet for 1 week before and 4 weeks after injury and analyzed for neointimal lesion size, plasma lipid and MCP-1 levels. One significant QTL, named Nih1 (61cM, LOD score: 5.02), on chromosome 12 and a suggestive locus on chromosome 13 (35cM, LOD: 2.67) were identified to influence lesion size. One significant QTL on distal chromosome 1 accounted for major variations in plasma non-HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Four suggestive QTLs on chromosomes 1, 2, and 3 were detected for circulating MCP-1 levels. No correlations were observed between neointimal lesion size and plasma lipid levels or between lesion size and plasma MCP-1 levels.
Neointimal formation is controlled by genetic factors independent of those affecting plasma lipid levels and circulating MCP-1 levels in the B6 and C3H mouse model.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inbred mouse strains C57BL/6J (B6) and C3H/HeJ (C3H) exhibit a marked difference in atherosclerotic lesion formation when deficient in apolipoprotein E (apoE(-/-)), and the arterial wall has been identified as a source of the difference in atherosclerosis susceptibility. In the present study, differences in gene expression in aortic walls of the two strains were analyzed by microarrays. Total RNA was extracted from the aorta of 6-wk-old female B6 and C3H apoE(-/-) mice fed a chow or Western diet. There were 1,514 genes in chow fed mice and 590 genes in Western fed mice that were found to be differentially expressed between the two strains. Pathway analysis of differentially expressed genes suggested a role for the calcium signaling pathway in regulating atherosclerosis susceptibility. Oxidized LDL (oxLDL) induced a dose-dependent rise in cytosolic calcium levels in B6 endothelial cells. oxLDL-induced monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 production was inhibited by pretreatment with calcium chelator EGTA or intracellular calcium trapping compound BAPTA, indicating that calcium ions mediate the effect of oxLDL on monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 induction. The present findings demonstrate involvement of the calcium signaling pathway in the inflammatory process of atherogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Circulating soluble adhesion molecules have been suggested as useful markers to predict several clinical conditions such as atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. To determine genetic factors influencing plasma levels of soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and P-selectin, quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis was performed on an intercross between C57BL/6J (B6) and C3H/HeJ (C3H) mouse strains deficient in apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE-/-). Female F2 mice were fed a western diet for 12 weeks. One significant QTL, named sVcam1 (71 cM, LOD 3.9), on chromosome 9 and three suggestive QTLs on chromosomes 5, 13 and 15 were identified to affect soluble VCAM-1 levels. Soluble P-selectin levels were controlled by one significant QTL, named sSelp1 (8.5 cM, LOD 3.4), on chromosome 16 and two suggestive QTLs on chromosomes 10 and 13. Both adhesion molecules showed significant or an apparent trend of correlations with body weight, total cholesterol, and LDL/VLDL cholesterol levels in the F2 population. These results indicate that plasma VCAM-1 and P-selectin levels are complex traits regulated by multiple genes, and this regulation is conferred, at least partially, by acting on body weight and lipid metabolism in hyperlipidemic apoE-/- mice.
Molecular Genetics and Genomics 09/2008; 280(5):375-83. · 2.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) is an adhesion molecule expressed by endothelial cells for recruitment of leukocytes during inflammation. It is also abundantly expressed by smooth muscle cells in atherosclerotic lesions and in injured arteries. In this study, we examined the role of VCAM-1 in smooth muscle cell migration. Smooth muscle cells were isolated from the aorta of C57BL/6 mice and transfected with short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) targeting VCAM-1. Inhibition on VCAM-1 expression by siRNAs was assessed by Western blot analysis, RT-PCR and by measuring soluble VCAM-1 concentrations in the incubation medium. One siRNA that showed greater suppression on VCAM-1 expression was used for migration assay. A single scratch wound was made on 70% confluent cells and cells migrated from wounded monolayer were counted 24 and 48h after injury. Treatment with VCAM-1 siRNA resulted in a significant reduction in the number of migrated cells. This siRNA also exhibited a minor effect on smooth muscle cell proliferation. Thus, our findings indicate that VCAM-1 is necessary for the migration of smooth muscle cells and interfering VCAM-1 expression could be an effective approach to prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis and restenosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously identified a G>A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) between C57BL/6J (B6) and C3H/HeJ (C3H) mouse strains at position 2077 in the coding region of Vcam1 that leads to substitution of an amino acid from aspartic acid (D) to asparagine (N) in the protein product. In the present study, we investigated the association of this SNP with atherosclerosis susceptibility using a panel of inbred mouse strains, a set of recombinant inbred (RI) strains derived from B6 and C3H mice, and a cohort of F2 mice derived from B6 and C3H apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE(-/-)) mice. Inbred strain analysis revealed that mouse strains with the B6 Vcam1 genotype developed significantly larger atherosclerotic lesions than strains with the C3H genotype (4622+/-2816 microm(2)/section versus 362+/-697 microm(2)/section; P=0.029). BXH RI strains with the B6 Vcam1 genotype also developed larger atherosclerotic lesions than those with the C3H genotype (8305+/-9031 microm(2)/section versus 2139+/-2931 microm(2)/section) although the difference was not statistically significant (P=0.13). In contrast, no association was detected between Vcam1 and atherosclerotic lesion size in F2 mice. The present data indicate that the G>A mutation of Vcam1 is associated with atherosclerotic lesion formation in the dietary but not apoE(-/-) models of atherosclerosis and this association suggests a role for the Vcam1 gene in influencing atherosclerosis susceptibility.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inbred mouse strains C57BL/6J (B6) and C3H/HeJ (C3H) exhibit marked differences in atherosclerotic lesion formation in the carotid arteries on the apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE(-/-)) background when fed a Western diet. Quantitative trait locus analysis was performed on an intercross between B6.apoE(-/-) and C3H.apoE(-/-) mice to determine genetic factors contributing to variation in the phenotype.
Female B6.apoE(-/-) mice were crossed with male C3H.apoE(-/-) mice to generate F(1) hybrids, which were intercrossed to generate 241 female F(2) progeny. At 6 weeks of age, F(2) mice were started on a Western diet. After being fed the diet for 12 weeks, F(2) mice were analyzed for phenotypes such as lesion size in the left carotid arteries and plasma lipid levels and typed for 154 genetic markers spanning the mouse genome.
One significant quantitative trait locus, named CAth1 (25 cM, log of the odds score: 4.5), on chromosome 12 and 4 suggestive quantitative trait loci, on chromosomes 1, 5, 6, and 11, respectively, were identified to influence carotid lesion size. One significant quantitative trait locus on distal chromosome 1 accounted for major variations in plasma low-density lipoprotein/very-low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Carotid lesion size was not significantly correlated with plasma low-density lipoprotein/very-low-density lipoprotein or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.
These data indicate that the loci for carotid lesions do not overlap with those for aortic lesions as identified in a previous cross derived from the same parental strains, and carotid atherosclerosis and plasma lipids are controlled by separate genetic factors in the B6 and C3H mouse model.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: C3H/HeJ (C3H) mice are extremely resistant to atherosclerosis. To identify the genetic factors involved in lesion initiation, we studied a cross between C3H and the susceptible strain C57BL/6J (B6) on a hyperlipidemic (apolipoprotein E-null) background.
Whereas a previous cross in mice fed a Western diet for 16 weeks revealed a very complex inheritance pattern with many significant lesion QTLs, the present cross, on a chow diet, revealed a single major locus on chromosome 9 (lod=5.0, Ath29*), and a suggestive locus on chromosome 4 (lod=2.6, Ath8). QTLs for plasma HDL, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels were found on chromosome 1 over the ApoA2 gene. Neither of the lesion QTLs were associated with differences in plasma lipid levels or other systemic risk factors, consistent with the concept that genetic factors affecting cellular functions of the vessel wall are important determinants of atherosclerosis susceptibility. We generated a congenic strain for Ath29 and confirmed its contribution to lesion development. Toll-like receptor 4 (Tlr4), the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) receptor, is located in the Ath8 region and is known to be defective in C3H/HeJ mice. We constructed a congenic strain carrying a normal Tlr4 gene on the C3H Apoe-null background and found that the defective Tlr4 does not contribute significantly to lesion resistance during early lesion development.
We identified one major QTL on chromosome 9, Ath29, for early lesion development in the BXH ApoE(-/-) cross fed on a chow diet and confirmed its contribution in congenic mice. We have also determined that Tlr4 on the C3H ApoE(-/-) background does not contribute to early lesion development. *Ath29 is referred to as Ath22 in Su et al 2006.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Age is considered to be a major risk factor for atherosclerosis, but it is unclear whether age has a direct effect on susceptibility to atherosclerosis. Wild-type mice develop fatty streak lesions in the aortic root only when fed a cholate-containing high fat/cholesterol diet. To investigate the influence of age on fatty streak formation, young (10 weeks) and old (53 weeks) female C57BL/6 mice were fed an atherogenic diet containing 15% fat, 1.25% cholesterol and 0.5% sodium cholate for 12 weeks. Atherosclerotic lesions at the aortic root were measured after cryosections were stained with oil red O. Results showed that old mice developed a comparable size of aortic lesions with young counterparts (5,600 +/- 2,480 vs. 6,457 +/- 1,537 microm2/section; p = 0.77), although old mice had significantly higher plasma cholesterol levels than young mice on the atherogenic diet (p < 0.05). Plasma levels of soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 were significantly higher in old mice than in young mice on both chow and Western diets (p < 0.005). These data indicate that age has no direct effect on atherosclerosis susceptibility although it is accompanied by elevations in plasma cholesterol and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 levels in C57BL/6 mice. Thus, increased cardiovascular events with age are probably related to a progressive increase in plaque size rather than to an increase in atherosclerosis susceptibility.
Journal of Vascular Research 01/2008; 45(3):205-10. · 2.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a combined genetic and genomic analysis of atherosclerosis in a cross between the strains C3H/HeJ and C57BL/6J on a hyperlipidemic apolipoprotein E-null background. We incorporated sex and sex-by-genotype interactions into our model selection procedure to identify 10 quantitative trait loci for lesion size, revealing a level of complexity greater than previously thought. Of the known risk factors for atherosclerosis, plasma triglyceride levels and plasma glucose to insulin ratios were particularly strongly, but negatively, associated with lesion size. We performed expression array analysis for 23,574 transcripts of the livers and adipose tissues of all 334 F2 mice and identified more than 10,000 expression quantitative trait loci that either mapped to the gene encoding the transcript, implying cis regulation, or to a separate locus, implying trans-regulation. The gene expression data allowed us to identify candidate genes that mapped to the atherosclerosis quantitative trait loci and for which the expression was regulated in cis. Genes highly correlated with lesions were enriched in certain known pathways involved in lesion development, including cholesterol metabolism, mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, and inflammation. Thus, global gene expression in peripheral tissues can reflect the systemic perturbations that contribute to atherosclerosis.
Circulation Research 09/2007; 101(3):e11-30. · 11.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oxidative modification of LDL accumulated in the subendothelial space is a critical step in atherogenesis. Mouse strains C57BL/6 (B6) and BALB/c differ markedly in atherosclerosis susceptibility. We sought to determine whether variation of endothelial cells in the capacity to oxidize LDL or in response to minimally modified LDL (MM-LDL) constitutes a genetic component in atherosclerosis. LDL oxidation was assessed by measuring thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance (TBARS) production. Responses to MM-LDL were evaluated by examining induction of monocyte chemotactic protein-1, macrophage-colony stimulating factor, and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1. Both strains exhibited comparable endothelial responses to MM-LDL, whereas BALB/c mice had an increased rate of oxidizing LDL compared with B6 mice. To examine whether endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) contributed to the difference in LDL oxidation, cells were incubated with native LDL in the presence or absence of N(Omega)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (l-NAME), a specific NOS inhibitor. Although l-NAME significantly inhibited endothelial cell-mediated LDL oxidation, it failed to abolish the difference between the strains. In contrast, Baicalein, a specific 12/15 lipoxygenase inhibitor, abolished the difference in LDL oxidation. Thus, the paradoxical increase in LDL oxidation by endothelial cells is attributable to higher oxidant activity of 12/15-lipoxygenase in BALB/c mice and endothelial cells appear unlikely to be a source of the resistance to atherosclerosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inbred mouse strains C57BL/6J (B6) and C3H/HeJ (C3H) exhibit marked differences in atherosclerosis susceptibility. We sought to determine whether the difference in atherosclerosis susceptibility resides at the level of arterial walls.
Thoracic aortic segments from 8-week-old female B6 and C3H apolipoprotein E-deficient mice were transplanted into the infrarenal aorta of 10-week-old female F1 mice. After transplantation, recipients were maintained on a chow diet for 16 weeks. The donor aortic segments of B6 mice developed significantly larger atherosclerotic lesions than those of C3H (44,983+/-11,702 versus 5600+/-4885 microm2 per section; P=0.011). Expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1 by endothelial cells was examined both in vitro and in vivo. B6 mice expressed significantly more VCAM-1 than their C3H counterparts. Sequence analysis of VCAM-1 cDNA revealed a nucleotide difference in the coding region that resulted in substitution of an amino acid in the protein product.
These data provide direct proof that factors operating in the vessel wall, particularly endothelial cells, can serve as atherosclerosis modifiers and suggest a possibility for the contribution of VCAM-1 to atherosclerosis susceptibility.