[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Inflammation is a key etiologic component in atherogenesis and transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFß1) is a well known anti-inflammatory cytokine which potentially might be used to limit it. Yet TGFß1 is pleiomorphic, causing fibrosis, cell taxis, and under certain circumstances, can even worsen inflammation. SMAD3 is an important member of TGFß1¿s signal transduction pathway, but is a fully intracellular protein.Objectives
With the hope of attenuating TGFß1¿s adverse systemic effects (eg. fibrosis) and accentuating its anti-inflammatory activity, we proposed the use of human (h)SMAD3 as an intracellular substitute for TGFß1.Study designTo test this hypothesis adeno-associated virus type 2/8 (AAV)/hSMAD3 or AAV/Neo (control) was tail vein injected into the low density lipoprotein receptor knockout (LDLR-KO) mice, then placed on a high-cholesterol diet (HCD).ResultsThe hSMAD3 delivery was associated with significantly lower atherogenesis as measured by larger aortic cross sectional area, thinner aortic wall thickness, and lower aortic systolic blood velocity compared with Neo gene-treated controls. HSMAD3 delivery also resulted in fewer aortic macrophages by immunohistochemistry for CD68 and ITGAM, and quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analysis of EMR and ITGAM. Overall, aortic cytokine expression showed an enhancement of Th2 response (higher IL-4 and IL-10); while Th1 response (IL-12) was lower with hSMAD3 delivery. While TGFß1 is often associated with increased fibrosis, AAV/hSMAD3 delivery exhibited no increase of collagen 1A2 or significantly lower 2A1 expression in the aorta compared with Neo-delivery. Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), a mediator of TGFß1/SMAD3-induced fibrosis, was unchanged in hSMAD3-delivered aortas. In the liver, all three of these genes were down-regulated by hSMAD3 gene delivery.Conclusion
These data strongly suggest that AAV/hSMAD3 delivery gave anti-atherosclerosis therapeutic effect without the expected undesirable effect of TGFß1-associated fibrosis.
Journal of Translational Medicine 09/2014; 12(1):252. DOI:10.1186/s12967-014-0252-8 · 3.93 Impact Factor