Wim Martinet

University of Antwerp, Antwerpen, Flanders, Belgium

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Publications (146)719.22 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Because cholesterol-independent effects of statins are difficult to determine in patients, we studied these pleiotropic effects in apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE(-/-)) mice with a mutation in the fibrillin-1 gene (Fbn1(C1039G+/-)). These mice develop exacerbated atherosclerosis and spontaneous plaque ruptures, accompanied by myocardial infarctions (MI) and sudden death. ApoE(-/-)Fbn1(C1039G+/-) mice were fed a Western diet (WD). At week 10 of WD, mice were divided in a control (WD), atorvastatin (10mg/kg/day + WD) and cholesterol withdrawal group (cholW, normal chow). The latter was included to compare the effects of atorvastatin with dietary lipid lowering. Fifteen weeks later, the mice were sacrificed. CholW, but not atorvastatin, reduced plasma cholesterol. Survival increased from 50% to 90% both in cholW and atorvastatin treated mice. CholW as well as atorvastatin treatment increased plaque collagen and fibrous cap thickness, but they did not affect the amount of plaque macrophages and T cells. MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity was significantly lower and the expression of MMP-12, TNF-α and IL-1β was strongly reduced in both treatment groups. Blood monocytes and neutrophils returned to baseline levels (ApoE(-/-) mice before the onset of atherosclerosis). Importantly, atorvastatin but not cholW significantly reduced coronary stenosis (from 50 to 28%) and the occurrence of MI (from 43 to 10%). In conclusion, independent of cholesterol lowering, atorvastatin significantly reduced mortality, plaque vulnerability and inflammation to the same extent as cholW. In addition, atorvastatin but not cholW reduced coronary stenosis and the occurrence of MI. These data unequivocally illustrate the significance of the pleiotropic effects of atorvastatin in the prevention of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Atherosclerosis

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Atherosclerosis
  • Ammar Kurdi · Guido R Y De Meyer · Wim Martinet
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    ABSTRACT: Despite significant improvement in the management of atherosclerosis, this slowly progressing disease continues to affect countless patients around the world. Recently, the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) has been identified as a preeminent actor in the development of atherosclerosis. mTOR is a constitutively active kinase found in two different multiprotein complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2. Pharmacological interventions with a class of macrolide immunosuppressive drugs, called rapalogs, have shown undeniable evidence of the value of mTORC1 inhibition to inhibit the development of atherosclerotic plaques in several animal models. Rapalog-eluting stents have also shown extraordinary results in humans, even though the exact mechanism for this anti-atherosclerotic effect remains elusive. Unfortunately, rapalogs are known to trigger diverse undesirable effects due to mTORC1 resistance or mTORC2 inhibition. These adverse effects include dyslipidaemia and insulin resistance, both known triggers of atherosclerosis. Several strategies such as combination therapy with statins and metformin have been suggested to oppose rapalog-mediated adverse effects. Statins and metformin are known to inhibit mTORC1 indirectly via AMPK activation and may hold the key to exploit the full potential of mTORC1 inhibition in the treatment of atherosclerosis. Intermittent regimens and dose reduction have also been proposed to improve rapalog's mTORC1 selectivity, thereby reducing mTORC2 related side effects.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
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    ABSTRACT: Autophagy is triggered in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) of diseased arterial vessels. However, the role of VSMC autophagy in cardiovascular disease is poorly understood. Therefore, we investigated the effect of defective autophagy on VSMC survival and phenotype and its significance in the development of postinjury neointima formation and atherosclerosis. Tissue-specific deletion of the essential autophagy gene Atg7 in murine VSMCs (atg7(-/-) VSMCs) caused accumulation of SQSTM1/p62 and accelerated the development of stress-induced premature senescence as shown by cellular and nuclear hypertrophy, CDKN2A-RB-mediated G1 proliferative arrest and senescence-associated GLB1 activity. Transfection of SQSTM1-encoding plasmid DNA in Atg7(+/+) VSMCs induced similar features, suggesting that accumulation of SQSTM1 promotes VSMC senescence. Interestingly, atg7(-/-) VSMCs were resistant to oxidative stress-induced cell death as compared to controls. This effect was attributed to nuclear translocation of the transcription factor NFE2L2 resulting in upregulation of several antioxidative enzymes. In vivo, defective VSMC autophagy led to upregulation of MMP9, TGFB and CXCL12 and promoted postinjury neointima formation and diet-induced atherogenesis. Lesions of VSMC-specific atg7 knockout mice were characterized by increased total collagen deposition, nuclear hypertrophy, CDKN2A upregulation, RB hypophosphorylation and GLB1 activity, all features typical of cellular senescence. To conclude, autophagy is crucial for VSMC function, phenotype and survival. Defective autophagy in VSMCs accelerates senescence and promotes ligation-induced neointima formation and diet-induced atherogenesis, implying that autophagy inhibition as therapeutic strategy in the treatment of neointimal stenosis and atherosclerosis would be unfavorable. Conversely, stimulation of autophagy could be a valuable new strategy in the treatment of arterial disease.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Autophagy
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    ABSTRACT: Vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques are prone to plaque rupture leading to acute cardiovascular syndromes and death. Elucidating the risk of plaque rupture is important to define better therapeutic or preventive strategies. In the present study, we investigated the effect of chronic intermittent mental stress on atherosclerotic plaque stability and cardiovascular mortality in apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE(-/-)) mice with a heterozygous mutation in the fibrillin-1 gene (Fbn1(C1039G+/)(-)). This mouse model displays exacerbated atherosclerosis with spontaneous plaque ruptures, myocardial infarction and sudden death, when fed a Western-type diet (WD). Female ApoE(-/-)Fbn1(C1039G+/-) mice were fed a WD for up to 25 weeks. After 10 weeks WD, mice were divided in a control (n = 27) and mental stress (n = 29) group. The chronic intermittent mental stress protocol consisted of 3 triggers: water avoidance, damp bedding and restraint stress, in a randomly assigned order lasting 6 h every weekday for 15 weeks. Chronic intermittent mental stress resulted in a significant increase in the amount of macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques of the proximal ascending aorta, whereas type I collagen and fibrous cap thickness were decreased. The coronary arteries of mental stress-treated mice showed larger plaques, more stenosis, and an increased degree of perivascular fibrosis. Moreover, myocardial infarctions occurred more frequently in the mental stress group. As compared to the control group, the survival of stressed ApoE(-/-)Fbn1(C1039G+/-) mice decreased from 67% to 52% at 25 weeks WD, presumably due to myocardial infarctions. In conclusion, chronic intermittent mental stress promotes plaque instability, myocardial infarctions, and mortality of ApoE(-/-)Fbn1(C1039G+/-) mice. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Atherosclerosis

  • No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Atherosclerosis
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    ABSTRACT: Peripheral blood (PB) admixture should be minimized during numerical and functional, as well as cytokinetic analysis of bone marrow (BM) aspirates for research purposes. Therefore, purity assessment of the BM aspirate should be performed in advance. We investigated whether bone matrix vesicle (BMV)-bound bone alkaline phosphatase (ALP) could serve as a marker for the purity of BM aspirates. Total ALP activity was significantly higher in BM serum (97 (176-124) U/L, median (range)) compared to PB serum (63 (52-73) U/L, p<0.001). Agarose gel electrophoresis showed a unique bone ALP fraction in BM, which was absent in PB. Native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed the high molecular weight of this fraction, corresponding with membrane-bound ALP from bone matrix vesicles (BMV), as evidenced by electron microscopy. A serial PB admixture experiment of bone cylinder supernatant samples, rich in BMV-bound ALP, confirmed the sensitivity of this proposed quality assessment method. Furthermore, a BMV ALP fraction of ≥15 % is suggested as cut-off value for minimal BM quality. Also, the BM purity declines rapidly with larger aspirated BM volumes. The exclusive presence of BMV-bound ALP in BM could serve as a novel marker to assess purity of BM aspirates. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: L-type Ca2+ channel (VGCC) mediated Ca2+ influx in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) contributes to the functional properties of large arteries in arterial stiffening and central blood pressure regulation. How this influx relates to steady-state contractions elicited by α1-adrenoreceptor stimulation and how it is modulated by small variations in resting membrane potential (Vm) of VSMC is not clear yet. Here, we show that α1-adrenoreceptor stimulation of aortic segments of C57Bl6 mice with phenylephrine (PE) causes phasic and tonic contractions. By studying the relationship between Ca2+ mobilisation and isometric tension, it was found that the phasic contraction was due to intracellular Ca2+ release and the tonic contraction determined by Ca2+ influx. The latter component involves both Ca2+ influx via VGCC and via non-selective cation channels (NSCC). Influx via VGCC occurs only within the window voltage range of the channel. Modulation of this window Ca2+ influx by small variations of the VSMC Vm causes substantial effects on the contractile performance of aortic segments. The relative contribution of VGCC and NSCC to the contraction by α1-adrenoceptor stimulation could be manipulated by increasing intracellular Ca2+ release from non-contractile sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ stores. Results of this study point to a complex interactions between α1-adrenoceptor-mediated VSMC contractile performance and Ca2+ release form contractile or non-contractile Ca2+ stores with concomitant Ca2+ influx. Given the importance of VGCC and their blockers in arterial stiffening and hypertension, they further point toward an additional role of NSCC (and NSCC blockers) herein.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: We recently reported that apolipoprotein E (ApoE)-deficient mice with a mutation in the fibrillin-1 gene (ApoE(-/-)Fbn1(C1039G+/-)) develop accelerated atherosclerosis with enhanced inflammation, atherosclerotic plaque rupture, myocardial infarction and sudden death. In the brain, fibrillin-1 functions as an attachment protein in the basement membrane, providing structural support to the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Here, we investigated whether fibrillin-1 impairment affects the permeability of the BBB proper and the blood cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCSFB), and whether this leads to the accelerated accumulation of lipids (xanthomas) in the brain. ApoE(-/-) (n=61) and ApoE(-/-)Fbn1(C1039G+/-) (n=73) mice were fed a Western-type diet (WD). After 14 weeks WD, a significantly higher permeability of the BBB was observed in ApoE(-/-)Fbn1(C1039G+/-) mice compared to age-matched ApoE(-/-) mice. This was accompanied by leukocyte infiltration, enhanced expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, matrix metalloproteinases and transforming growth factor-β, and by decreased expression of tight junction proteins claudin-5 and occludin. After 20 weeks WD, 83% of ApoE(-/-)Fbn1(C1039G+/-) mice showed xanthomas in the brain, compared to 23% of their ApoE(-/-) littermates. Xanthomas were mainly located in fibrillin-1 rich regions, such as the choroid plexus and the neocortex. Our findings demonstrate that dysfunctional fibrillin-1 impairs BBB/BCSFB integrity, facilitating peripheral leukocyte infiltration, which further degrades the BBB/BCSFB. As a consequence, lipoproteins can enter the brain, resulting in accelerated formation of xanthomas. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Neuroscience
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    ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a reparative, life-sustaining process by which cytoplasmic components are sequestered in double-membrane vesicles and degraded on fusion with lysosomal compartments. Growing evidence reveals that basal autophagy is an essential in vivo process mediating proper vascular function. Moreover, autophagy is stimulated by many stress-related stimuli in the arterial wall to protect endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells against cell death and the initiation of vascular disease, in particular atherosclerosis. Basal autophagy is atheroprotective during early atherosclerosis but becomes dysfunctional in advanced atherosclerotic plaques. Little is known about autophagy in other vascular disorders, such as aneurysm formation, arterial aging, vascular stiffness, and chronic venous disease, even though autophagy is often impaired. This finding highlights the need for pharmacological interventions with compounds that stimulate the prosurvival effects of autophagy in the vasculature. A large number of animal studies and clinical trials have indicated that oral or stent-based delivery of the autophagy inducer rapamycin or derivatives thereof, collectively known as rapalogs, effectively inhibit the basic mechanisms that control growth and destabilization of atherosclerotic plaques. Other autophagy-inducing drugs, such as spermidine or add-on therapy with widely used antiatherogenic compounds, including statins and metformin, are potentially useful to prevent vascular disease with minimal adverse effects. © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Circulation Research
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    ABSTRACT: Bevacizumab is the first anti-angiogenic agent approved for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer. The need for patient selection before initiating therapy necessitates the study of various proteins expressed in metastatic colorectal cancer tissue as candidate predictive markers. Immunohistochemistry is a valuable, commonly available and cost-effective method to assess predictive biomarkers. However, it is subject to variations and therefore requires rigorous protocol standardizations. Furthermore, validated quantification methodologies to study these angiogenic elements have to be applied. Based on their function in tumor angiogenesis and their relation to the mechanism of action of bevacizumab, protein markers were divided in four groups: VEGF A-signaling proteins; other relevant angiogenesis factors; factors regarding the tumor microenvironment and tumor intrinsic markers. Conceivably, nimbly selecting a small but relevant group of therapy-guided patients by the appropriate combination of predictive biomarkers may confer great value to this angiogenic inhibitor.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics
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    ABSTRACT: Autophagy is an evolutionary preserved process that prevents the accumulation of unwanted cytosolic material through the formation of autophagosomes. Although autophagy has been extensively studied to understand its function in normal physiology, the role of vascular smooth muscle (SM) cell (VSMC) autophagy in Ca2+ mobilization and contraction remains poorly understood. Recent evidence shows that autophagy is involved in controlling contractile function and Ca2+ homeostasis in certain cell types. Therefore, autophagy might also regulate contractile capacity and Ca2+-mobilizing pathways in VSMCs. Contractility (organ chambers) and Ca2+ homeostasis (myograph) were investigated in aortic segments of 3.5-mo-old mice containing a SM cell-specific deletion of autophagy-related 7 (Atg7; Atg7fl/fl SM22α-Cre+ mice) and in segments of corresponding control mice (Atg7+/+ SM22α-Cre+). Our results indicate that voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (VGCCs) of Atg7fl/fl SM22α-Cre+ VSMCs were more sensitive to depolarization, independent of changes in resting membrane potential. Contractions elicited with K+ (50 mM) or the VGCC agonist BAY K8644 (100 nM) were significantly higher due to increased VGCC expression and activity. Interestingly, the sarcoplasmic reticulum of Atg7fl/fl SM22α-Cre+ VSMCs was enlarged, which, combined with increased sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase 2 expression and higher store-operated Ca2+ entry, promoted inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate-mediated contractions of Atg7fl/fl SM22α-Cre+ segments and maximized the Ca2+ storing capacity of the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Moreover, decreased plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase expression in Atg7fl/fl SM22α-Cre+ VSMCs hampered Ca2+ extrusion to the extracellular environment. Overall, our study indicates that defective autophagy in VSMCs leads to an imbalance between Ca2+ release/influx and Ca2+ reuptake/extrusion, resulting in higher basal Ca2+ concentrations and significant effects on vascular reactivity.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology
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    ABSTRACT: Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is an autosomal recessive disorder, characterized by extensive mineralization of connective tissues and fragmentation of elastin fibres. PXE patients may sporadically suffer from severe cardiovascular complications caused by accelerated atherosclerosis. Consistent with this finding, recent evidence suggests that elastin fragmentation in arteries of atherosclerotic mice leads to unstable plaques and human-like complications such as myocardial infarction, stroke and sudden death. Because Abcc6-/- mice manifest the human features of PXE including the fragmentation of elastin fibres, Abcc6-/- mice were crossbred with ApoE-/- mice to investigate the level of plaque formation and potential complications. ApoE-/- and ApoE-/- Abcc6-/- mice were fed a Western-type diet (WD) for 25 weeks to induce plaque formation.WD-fed animals showed neither signs of neurological dysfunction nor sudden death. Cardiac function of ApoE-/- Abcc6-/- mice, as assessed by echocardiography, was not different from ApoE-/- control mice. Histochemical analysis did not reveal elastin fragmentation or pronounced mineral deposition in the vessel wall. Plaques from the proximal ascending aorta and brachiocephalic artery of ApoE-/- Abcc6-/- mice were similar in size and composition as compared to ApoE-/- mice. Moreover, en face oil red O stainings of the aortic arch and descending thoracic aorta did not reveal enhanced plaque formation in ApoE-/- Abcc6-/- mice as compared to ApoE-/-controls. ApoE-/-Abcc6-/- mice do not represent an adequate model of accelerated atherosclerosis and therefore are not useful to study atherosclerosis-related complications as observed in PXE patients.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Acta cardiologica
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    ABSTRACT: Apolipoprotein E deficient (ApoE(-/-)) mice with a heterozygous mutation in the fibrillin-1 gene (Fbn1(C1039G+/-)) show spontaneous atherosclerotic plaque ruptures, disturbances in cerebral flow and sudden death when fed a Western-type diet (WD). The present study focused on motor coordination and spatial learning of ApoE(-/-) Fbn1(C1039G+/-) mice on WD for 20weeks (n=21). ApoE(-/-) mice on WD (n=24) and ApoE(-/-) Fbn1(C1039G+/-) mice on normal diet (ND, n=21) served as controls. Starting from 10weeks of diet, coordination was assessed every two weeks by the following tests: gait analysis, stationary beam, wire suspension and accelerating rotarod. The Morris water maze test was performed after 13weeks of diet to study spatial learning. At the end of the experiment (20weeks of WD), the mice were sacrificed and the brachiocephalic artery and brain were isolated. From 12weeks onward, gait analysis of ApoE(-/-) Fbn1(C1039G+/-) mice on WD revealed a progressive increase in track width as compared to ApoE(-/-) mice on WD and ApoE(-/-) Fbn1(C1039G+/-) mice on ND (at 20weeks: 29.8±0.6mm vs. 25.8±0.4mm and 26.0±0.5mm). Moreover, the stationary beam test showed a decrease in motor coordination of ApoE(-/-) Fbn1(C1039G+/-) mice on WD at 18 and 20weeks. The wire suspension test and accelerating rotarod could not detect signs of motor impairment. Spatial learning was also not affected. Histological analysis of the brachiocephalic artery showed larger and more stenotic plaques in ApoE(-/-) Fbn1(C1039G+/-) mice on WD. Furthermore, the parietal cortex of ApoE(-/-) Fbn1(C1039G+/-) mice on WD showed pyknotic nuclei as a sign of hypoxia and the percentage of pyknosis correlated with track width. In conclusion, gait analysis may be an efficient method for analyzing hypoxic brain damage in the ApoE(-/-) Fbn1(C1039G+/-) mouse model. This test could be of value to assess the effect of potential anti-atherosclerotic therapies in mice. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Physiology & Behavior
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    ABSTRACT: L-type calcium channel blockers (LCCBs) reduce blood pressure more effectively in hypertensive than in normotensive subjects and are more effective in vascular smooth muscle (VSM) than in cardiac muscle. This has been explained by the depolarized resting potential of VSM in comparison with heart muscle cells and during hypertension, because both favor the “high affinity” inactivated state of the L-type calcium channel (LCC). Depolarized resting potentials, however, also increase Ca2+ influx via window, non-inactivating LCC. The present study investigated whether these channels can be effectively blocked by nifedipine, verapamil or diltiazem, as representatives of different LCCB classes. C57Bl6 mouse aortic segments were depolarized by 50 mM K+ to attain similar degree of inactivation. The depolarization evoked biphasic contractions with the slow force component displaying higher sensitivity to LCCBs than the fast component. Removal of the fast force component increased, whereas stimulation of Ca2+ influx with the dihydropyridine BAY K8644, a structural analog of nifedipine, decreased the efficacy of the LCCBs. Addition of LCCBs during the contraction caused concentration-dependent relaxation, which was independent of the presence of a fast force component, but still showed lower sensitivity in the presence of BAY K8644. Our data suggest that steady-state contractions by depolarization with 50 mM K+ are completely due to window Ca2+ influx, which is preferentially inhibited by LCCBs. Furthermore, results point to interactions between the LCCB receptors and Ca2+ ions or BAY K8644. The high affinity for open, non-inactivating LCC may play a dominant role in the anti-hypertensive effects of LCCBs.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · European Journal of Pharmacology

  • No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Atherosclerosis
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    ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a mechanism involved in cellular homeostasis under basal and stressed conditions delivering cytoplasmic content to the lysosomes for degradation to macronutrients. The potential role of autophagy in disease is increasingly recognised and investigated in the last decade. Nowadays it is commonly accepted that autophagy plays a role in the hepatic lipid metabolism. Hence, dysfunction of autophagy may be an underlying cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. However, controversy of the exact role of autophagy in the lipid metabolism exists: some publications report a lipolytic function of autophagy, whereas others claim a lipogenic function. This review aims to give an update of the present knowledge on autophagy in the hepatic lipid metabolism, hepatic insulin resistance, steatohepatitis and hepatic fibrogenesis.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · World Journal of Gastroenterology
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    ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a well-conserved lysosomal degradation pathway that plays a major role in both oncogenesis and tumor progression. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) as well as immunohistochemistry are indispensable tools for the evaluation of autophagy in situ. Here, we describe an optimized protocol for the study of autophagic vacuoles by TEM and elaborate on the immunohistochemical detection of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain (MAP1LC3, best known as LC3), which is currently considered as one of the most reliable markers of the autophagic process. The advantages, potential pitfalls, and limitations of these methods, as well as their value in the field of autophagy and oncometabolism research are discussed. Overall, we recommend a combined use of different techniques including TEM, immunohistochemistry, and molecular approaches (such as immunoblotting) for the unambiguous detection of autophagy in malignant as well as in normal tissues.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Methods in Enzymology
  • Wim Martinet · Hans De Loof · Guido R.Y. De Meyer
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    ABSTRACT: Statins are currently able to stabilize atherosclerotic plaques by lowering plasma cholesterol and pleiotropic effects, but a residual risk for atherosclerotic disease remains. Therefore, effective prevention of atherosclerosis and treatment of its complications is still a major clinical challenge. A large body of evidence indicates that mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors such as rapamycin or everolimus have pleiotropic anti-atherosclerotic effects so that these drugs can be used as add-on therapy to prevent or delay the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Moreover, bioresorbable scaffolds eluting everolimus trigger a healing process in the vessel wall, both in pigs and humans, that results in late lumen enlargement and plaque regression. At present, this phenomenon of atheroregression is poorly understood. However, given that mTOR inhibitors suppress cell proliferation and trigger autophagy, a cellular survival pathway and a process linked to cholesterol efflux, we hypothesize that these compounds can inhibit (or reverse) the basic mechanisms that control plaque growth and destabilization. Unfortunately, adverse effects associated with mTOR inhibitors such as dyslipidemia and hyperglycemia have recently been identified. Dyslipidemia is manageable via statin treatment, while the anti-diabetic drug metformin would prevent hyperglycemia. Because metformin has beneficial macrovascular effects, this drug in combination with an mTOR inhibitor might have significant promise to treat patients with unstable plaques. Moreover, both statins and metformin are known to inhibit mTOR via AMPK activation so that they would fully exploit the beneficial effects of mTOR inhibition in atherosclerosis.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Atherosclerosis

  • No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Journal of Hepatology

Publication Stats

7k Citations
719.22 Total Impact Points


  • 2001-2016
    • University of Antwerp
      • • Laboratory of Pathophysiology
      • • Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences
      Antwerpen, Flanders, Belgium
  • 2012
    • University of Michigan
      • Life Sciences Institute
      Ann Arbor, MI, United States