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Complement regulation in murine and human hypercholesterolemia and role in the control of macrophage and smooth muscle cell proliferation

AutorVerdeguer, Francisco; Castro, Claudia; Kubicek, Markus; Pla, Davinia ; Vila-Caballer, Marian; Vinué, Ángela ; Civeira, Fernando; Pocoví, Miguel; Calvete, Juan J. ; Andrés, Vicente
Palabras claveHypercholesterolemia
Complement activation
Vascular smooth muscle cell
Fecha de publicación4-jul-2007
EditorOxford University Press
CitaciónCardiovasc Res 76 (2):340-350
ResumenOBJECTIVE: Mounting evidence suggests that activation of complement, an important constituent of innate immunity, contributes to atherosclerosis. Here we investigated the expression of complement components (CCs) in the setting of experimental and clinical hypercholesterolemia, a major risk factor for atherosclerosis, their effects on vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) and macrophage proliferation, and the underlying molecular mechanisms. METHODS: For this study we analyzed the mRNA and protein expression of several CCs in plasma and aorta of hypercholesterolemic atherosclerosis-prone apolipoprotein E-null mice (apoE-KO) and in plasma of normocholesterolemic subjects and familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) patients. We also carried out in vitro molecular studies to assess the role of CCs on the control of macrophage and VSMC proliferation. RESULTS: Fat-fed apoE-KO mice experiencing severe hypercholesterolemia (~400 mg/dL), but not fat-fed wild-type controls with plasma cholesterol level <110 mg/dL, displayed in aortic tissue upregulation of several CC mRNAs, including C3, C4, C1s, and C1q. In apoE-KO mice, induction of C3 mRNA was already apparent two days after fat feeding when hypercholesterolemia was manifest yet atherosclerotic lesions were absent or incipient. Rapid C3 and C4 protein upregulation was also observed in the plasma of fat-fed apoE-KO mice, and FH patients exhibited higher plasmatic C3a, C4 γ chain, C1s and C3c α chain protein levels than normocholesterolemic subjects. In vitro, C3 and C3a, but not C3a-desArg, C4 and C1q, promoted macrophage and VSMC proliferation through Gi protein-dependent activation of extracellular signalregulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2). We also found that C3-enriched FH plasma evoked a stronger mitogenic response in macrophages than normocholesterolemic plasma, and treatment with anti-C3 antibodies eliminated this difference. CONCLUSIONS: Both experimental and clinical hypercholesterolemia coincides with a concerted activation of several CCs. However, only C3 and C3a elicited a mitogenic response in cultured VSMCs and macrophages through Gi protein-dependent ERK1/2 activation. Thus, excess of C3/C3a in hypercholesterolemic apoE-KO mice and FH patients may contribute to atheroma growth by promoting neointimal cell proliferation.
DescripciónThis is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Cardiovascular Research following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Cardiovasc Res. 76 (2):340-350 is available online at: http://cardiovascres.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/76/2/340
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cardiores.2007.06.028
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