Our data identify an atherosclerosis-specific DNA methylation profile that highlights the contribution of different genes and pathways to the disorder. Interestingly, the observed gain of DNA methylation in the atherosclerotic lesions justifies efforts to develop DNA demethylating agents for therapeutic benefit.
Objective-Lipids are central to the development of atherosclerotic plaques. Specifically, which lipids are culprits remains controversial, and promising targets have failed in clinical studies. Sphingolipids are bioactive lipids present in atherosclerotic plaques, and they have been suggested to have both proatherogenic and antiatherogenic. However, the biological effects of these lipids remain unknown in the human atherosclerotic plaque. The aim of this study was to assess plaque levels of sphingolipids and investigate their potential association with and contribution to plaque vulnerability. Approach and Results-Glucosylceramide, lactosylceramide, ceramide, dihydroceramide, sphingomyelin, and sphingosine-1-phosphate were analyzed in homogenates from 200 human carotid plaques using mass spectrometry. Inflammatory activity was determined by analyzing plaque levels of cytokines and plaque histology. Caspase-3 was analyzed by ELISA technique. Expression of regulatory enzymes was analyzed with RNA sequencing. Human coronary artery smooth muscle cells were used to analyze the potential role of the 6 sphingolipids as inducers of plaque inflammation and cellular apoptosis in vitro. All sphingolipids were increased in plaques associated with symptoms and correlated with inflammatory cytokines. All sphingolipids, except sphingosine-1-phosphate, also correlated with histological markers of plaque instability. Lactosylceramide, ceramide, sphingomyelin, and sphingosine-1-phosphate correlated with caspase-3 activity. In vitro experiments revealed that glucosylceramide, lactosylceramide, and ceramide induced cellular apoptosis. All analyzed sphingolipids induced an inflammatory response in human coronary artery smooth muscle cells. Conclusions-This
High plasma levels of VLDL are associated with increased risk for atherosclerosis. Here we show that VLDL (75 to 150 microg/mL) activates nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), a transcription factor known to play a key role in regulation of inflammation. Oxidation of VLDL reduced its capacity to activate NF-kappaB in vitro, whereas free fatty acids such as linoleic and oleic acid activated NF-kappaB to the same extent as did VLDL. Intravenous injection of human VLDL (6 mg protein per kg) into rats resulted in arterial activation of NF-kappaB as assessed by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. Aortic endothelial cells showed positive nuclear staining for the activated RelA (p65) subunit of NF-kappaB at 6 to 24 hours after injection. There was also a parallel expression of the adhesion molecules intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, as well as the cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Pretreatment of the rats with diet containing 1% of the antioxidant probucol for 8 weeks did not inhibit arterial activation of NF-kappaB in response to injection of VLDL. Moreover, injection of triglycerides (10% Intralipid, 5 mL/kg) activated arterial expression of NF-kappaB to the same extent as VLDL. Our results suggest that VLDL may promote the development of atherosclerotic lesions by activation of the proinflammatory transcription factor NF-kappaB. The effect appears to be mediated by a release of VLDL fatty acids but not to involve VLDL oxidation.
Background: Early detection of coronary atherosclerosis using coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA), in addition to coronary artery calcification (CAC) scoring, may help inform prevention strategies. We used CCTA to determine the prevalence, severity, and characteristics of coronary atherosclerosis and its association with CAC scores in a general population. Methods: We recruited 30 154 randomly invited individuals age 50 to 64 years to SCAPIS (the Swedish Cardiopulmonary Bioimage Study). The study includes individuals without known coronary heart disease (ie, no previous myocardial infarctions or cardiac procedures) and with high-quality results from CCTA and CAC imaging performed using dedicated dual-source CT scanners. Noncontrast images were scored for CAC. CCTA images were visually read and scored for coronary atherosclerosis per segment (defined as no atherosclerosis, 1% to 49% stenosis, or ≥50% stenosis). External validity of prevalence estimates was evaluated using inverse probability for participation weighting and Swedish register data. Results: In total, 25 182 individuals without known coronary heart disease were included (50.6% women). Any CCTA-detected atherosclerosis was found in 42.1%; any significant stenosis (≥50%) in 5.2%; left main, proximal left anterior descending artery, or 3-vessel disease in 1.9%; and any noncalcified plaques in 8.3% of this population. Onset of atherosclerosis was delayed on average by 10 years in women. Atherosclerosis was more prevalent in older individuals and predominantly found in the proximal left anterior descending artery. Prevalence of CCTA-detected atherosclerosis increased with increasing CAC scores. Among those with a CAC score >400, all had atherosclerosis and 45.7% had significant stenosis. In those with 0 CAC, 5.5% had atherosclerosis and 0.4% had significant stenosis. In participants with 0 CAC and intermediate 10-year risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease according to the pooled cohort equation, 9.2% had CCTA-verified atherosclerosis. Prevalence estimates had excellent external validity and changed marginally when adjusted to the age-matched Swedish background population. Conclusions: Using CCTA in a large, random sample of the general population without established disease, we showed that silent coronary atherosclerosis is common in this population. High CAC scores convey a significant probability of substantial stenosis, and 0 CAC does not exclude atherosclerosis, particularly in those at higher baseline risk.
Objective-To determine whether the level of lysophosphatidylcholine (lysoPC) generated by lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) is associated with severity of inflammation in human atherosclerotic plaques. Elevated plasma Lp-PLA2 is associated with increased cardiovascular risk. Lp-PLA2 inhibition reduces atherosclerosis. Lp-PLA2 hydrolyzes low-density lipoprotein-oxidized phospholipids generating lysoPCs. According to in vitro studies, lysoPCs are proinflammatory but the association between their generation and plaque inflammation remains unknown. Methods and Results-Inflammatory activity in carotid plaques (162 patients) was determined immunohistochemically and by analyzing cytokines in homogenates (multiplex immunoassay). LysoPCs were quantified using mass spectrometry and Lp-PLA2 and the lysoPC metabolite lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) by ELISA. There was a strong correlation among lysoPC 16:0, 18:0, 18:1, LPA, and Lp-PLA2 in plaques. LysoPC 16:0, 18:0, 18:1, LPA, and Lp-PLA2 correlated with interleukin-1, interleukin-6, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, macrophage inflammatory protein-1, regulated on activation normal T-cell expressed and secreted, and tumor necrosis factor- in plaques. High lysoPC and Lp-PLA2 correlated with increased plaque macrophages and lipids and with low content of smooth muscle cells, whereas LPA only correlated with plaque macrophages. Lp-PLA2, lysoPC 16:0, 18:0, and 18:1, but not LPA were higher in symptomatic than in asymptomatic plaques. Conclusion-The
Infants with cholestatic liver disease are at risk of various nutritional deficiencies. They require regular review with appropriate interventions to prevent complications and ensure optimum possible status if liver transplantation becomes necessary. We propose evidence based and internationally agreed guidelines for their care with recommendations for therapeutic strategies and for service organization.
Aims Neutrophils have both detrimental and beneficial effects in myocardial infarction (MI), but little is known about the underlying pathways. S100A8/A9 is a pro-inflammatory alarmin abundantly expressed in neutrophils that is rapidly released in the myocardium and circulation after myocardial ischaemia. We investigated the role of S100A8/A9 in the innate immune response to MI. Methods and results In 524 patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), we found that high plasma S100A8/A9 at the time of the acute event was associated with lower left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) at 1-year and increased hospitalization for heart failure (HF) during follow-up. In wild-type C57BL/6 mice with MI induced by permanent coronary artery ligation, treatment with the S100A9 blocker ABR-238901 during the inflammatory phase of the immune response inhibited haematopoietic stem cell proliferation and myeloid cell egression from the bone marrow. The treatment reduced the numbers of neutrophils and monocytes/macrophages in the myocardium, promoted an anti-inflammatory environment, and significantly improved cardiac function compared with MI controls. To mimic the clinical scenario, we further confirmed the effects of the treatment in a mouse model of ischaemia/reperfusion. Compared with untreated mice, 3-day ABR-238901 treatment significantly improved left ventricular EF (48% vs. 35%, P = 0.002) and cardiac output (15.7 vs. 11.1 mL/min, P = 0.002) by Day 21 post-MI. Conclusion Short-term S100A9 blockade inhibits inflammation and improves cardiac function in murine models of MI. As an excessive S100A8/A9 release is linked to incident HF, S100A9 blockade might represent a feasible strategy to improve prognosis in ACS patients.
Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) is an incretin hormone with extrapancreatic effects beyond glycemic control. Here we demonstrate unexpected effects of GIP signaling in the vasculature. GIP induces the expression of the proatherogenic cytokine osteopontin (OPN) in mouse arteries via local release of endothelin-1 and activation of CREB. Infusion of GIP increases plasma OPN concentrations in healthy individuals. Plasma endothelin-1 and OPN concentrations are positively correlated in patients with critical limb ischemia. Fasting GIP concentrations are higher in individuals with a history of cardiovascular disease (myocardial infarction, stroke) when compared with control subjects. GIP receptor (GIPR) and OPN mRNA levels are higher in carotid endarterectomies from patients with symptoms (stroke, transient ischemic attacks, amaurosis fugax) than in asymptomatic patients, and expression associates with parameters that are characteristic of unstable and inflammatory plaques (increased lipid accumulation, macrophage infiltration, and reduced smooth muscle cell content). While GIPR expression is predominantly endothelial in healthy arteries from humans, mice, rats, and pigs, remarkable upregulation is observed in endothelial and smooth muscle cells upon culture conditions, yielding a “vascular disease–like” phenotype. Moreover, the common variant rs10423928 in the GIPR gene is associated with increased risk of stroke in patients with type 2 diabetes.
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