The remarkable plasticity and plethora of biological functions performed by macrophages have enticed scientists to study these cells in relation to atherosclerosis for more than 50 years, and major discoveries continue to be made today. It is now understood that macrophages play important roles in all stages of atherosclerosis, from initiation of lesions and lesion expansion, to necrosis leading to rupture and the clinical manifestations of atherosclerosis, to resolution and regression of atherosclerotic lesions. Lesional macrophages are derived primarily from blood monocytes, although recent research has shown that lesional macrophage-like cells can also be derived from smooth muscle cells. Lesional macrophages take on different phenotypes depending on their environment and which intracellular signaling pathways are activated. Rather than a few distinct populations of macrophages, the phenotype of the lesional macrophage is more complex and likely changes during the different phases of atherosclerosis and with the extent of lipid and cholesterol loading, activation by a plethora of receptors, and metabolic state of the cells. These different phenotypes allow the macrophage to engulf lipids, dead cells, and other substances perceived as danger signals; efflux cholesterol to HDL; proliferate and migrate; undergo apoptosis and death; and secrete a large number of inflammatory and pro-resolving molecules. This review article, part of the Compendium on Atherosclerosis, discusses recent advances in our understanding of lesional macrophage phenotype and function in different stages of atherosclerosis. With the increasing understanding of the roles of lesional macrophages, new research areas and treatment strategies are beginning to emerge.
Progress in preventing atherosclerotic coronary artery disease (CAD) has been stalled by the epidemic of type 2 diabetes. Further advances in this area demand a thorough understanding of how two major features of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and hyperglycemia, impact atherosclerosis. Insulin resistance is associated with systemic CAD risk factors, but increasing evidence suggests that defective insulin signaling in atherosclerotic lesional cells also plays an important role. The role of hyperglycemia in CAD associated with type 2 diabetes is less clear. Understanding the mechanisms whereby type 2 diabetes exacerbates CAD offers hope for new therapeutic strategies to prevent and treat atherosclerotic vascular disease.
Arterial smooth muscle cells (SMCs) are arrested in the G1 phase of the cell cycle on polymerized type I collagen fibrils, while monomer collagen supports SMC proliferation. Cyclin E-associated kinase and cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (cdk2) phosphorylation are inhibited on polymerized collagen, and levels of the cdk2 inhibitors p27Kip1 and p21Cip1/Waf1 are increased compared with SMCs on monomer collagen. p27Kip1 associates with the cyclin E-cdk2-p21Cip1/Waf1 complex in SMCs on polymerized collagen. Monovalent blocking antibodies to alpha2 integrins, integrins that mediate adhesion to both forms of collagen, mimic these effects on monomer collagen. Furthermore, polymerized collagen rapidly suppresses p70 S6 kinase, a possible regulator of p27Kip1. Thus, fibrillar collagen specifically regulates early integrin signaling that may lead to up-regulation of cdk2 inhibitors and inhibition of SMC proliferation.
Summary Obesity is associated with infiltration of macrophages into adipose tissue (AT), contributing to insulin resistance and diabetes. However, relatively little is known regarding the origin of AT macrophages (ATMs). We discovered that murine models of obesity have prominent monocytosis and neutrophilia, associated with proliferation and expansion of bone marrow (BM) myeloid progenitors. AT transplantation conferred myeloid progenitor proliferation in lean recipients, while weight loss in both mice and humans (via gastric bypass) was associated with a reversal of monocytosis and neutrophilia. Adipose S100A8/A9 induced ATM TLR4/MyD88 and NLRP3 inflammasome-dependent IL-1β production. IL-1β interacted with the IL-1 receptor (IL-1R) on BM myeloid progenitors to stimulate the production of monocytes and neutrophils. These studies uncover a positive feedback loop between ATMs and BM myeloid progenitors, and suggest that inhibition of TLR4 ligands or the NLRP3-IL-1β signaling axis could reduce AT inflammation and insulin resistance in obesity.
Abstract-Cyclic GMP (cGMP) made in response to atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) or nitric oxide (NO) is an importantregulator of short-term changes in smooth muscle tone and longer-term responses to chronic drug treatment or proliferative signals. The ability of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) to utilize different combinations of phosphodiesterase (PDE) isozymes allows cGMP to mediate these multiple processes. For example, PDE5 as a major cGMP-hydrolyzing PDE effectively controls the development of smooth muscle relaxation. In order for contraction to occur, PDE5 is activated and cGMP falls. Conversely, blockade of PDE5 activity allows the relaxation cycle to be prolonged and enhanced. A recently shown direct activation of PDE5 by cGMP binding to the GAF A domain suggests that this regulatory site might be a target for new drug development. The calcium surge associated with vasoconstrictor initiated contraction also activates a calcium/calmodulin-dependent PDE (PDE1A). Together, PDE5 and PDE1A lower cGMP sufficiently to allow contraction. Longer term, both PDE5 and PDE1A mRNA are induced by chronic stimulation of guanylyl cyclase. This induction is a major cause of the tolerance that develops to NO-releasing drugs. Finally, high levels of cGMP or cAMP also act as a brake to attenuate the proliferative response of SMCs to many mitogens. After vessel damage, in order for SMC proliferation to occur, the levels of cGMP and cAMP must be decreased. In humans, this decrease is caused in large part by induction of another Ca 2ϩ /calmodulin-dependent PDE (PDE1C) that allows the brake to be released and proliferation to start. Key Words: cyclic GMP Ⅲ smooth muscle function T he cyclic nucleotide second messengers, cAMP and cGMP, have been shown to regulate a wide variety of processes in many different tissues of the body and have been suggested to regulate many more. In fact, they have been proposed to modulate so many different processes that, until recently, it has been difficult to understand how these simple, small, second messenger molecules could provide both the specificity of action and the diversity of function necessary for such regulation. Particularly problematic has been an understanding about how both very rapid and very slow processes can be modulated by the same mechanisms.A major conceptual advance in our understanding of the mechanisms by which such temporally and spatially disparate processes can be controlled was the realization that many different isozymes for synthesis (cyclases) and degradation (phosphodiesterases, PDEs) of cAMP and cGMP are present Original
Stimulation ofaortic smooth muscle cells with platelet-derived growth factor BB homodimer (PDGF-BB) leads to the rapid activation ofmitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and MAPK kinase (MAPKK). Compounds that increase cAMP and activate protein kinase A (PKA) prostaglandin E2, isoproterenol, cholera toxin, and forskolinwere found to inhibit the PDGF-BB-induced activation of MAPKK and MAPK. Forskolin, but not the inactive analogue 1,9-dideoxyforskolin, inhibited PDGF-BB-stimulated MAPKK and MAPK activation in a dose-dependent manner. PKA antagonism of MAPK signaling was observed at all doses of PDGF-BB or PDGF-AA. PKA did not inhibit MAPKK and MAPK activity in vitro, and MAPKK and MAPK from extracts of forskolin-treated cells could be activated normally with purified Raf-1 and MAPKK, respectively, suggesting that PKA blocked signaling upstrea of MAPKK. Neither PDGF-BBstimulated tyrosine autophosphorylation of the PDGF receptor (3 subunit nor inositol monophosphate accumulation was affected by increased PKA activity, suggesting that PKA inhibits events downstream of the PDGF receptor. This study provides an example of cross talk between two important signaling systems activated by physiological stimuli in smooth muscle cells-namely, the PKA pathway and the growth factoractivated MAPK cascade.The p44 and p42 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) (Erkl and Erk2) are central components of a growth factorstimulated protein kinase cascade found in organisms as diverse as mammals and yeast (reviewed in refs.
Directed migration or chemotaxis of arterial smooth muscle cells (SMC) contributes to intimal SMC accumulation, a key event in the development of atherosclerotic lesions and in restenosis after angioplasty. The present study compares and contrasts insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-BB) as chemoattractants and mitogens for human arterial SMC. Compared with PDGF-BB, IGF-I is a weaker SMC mitogen. Thus, PDGF-BB, but not IGF-I, evokes a strong and rapid activation of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase kinase and MAP kinase. However, IGF-I is a potent stimulator of directed migration of human arterial SMC, as measured in a Boyden chamber assay. The half-maximal concentration for migration is similar to the Kd for IGF-I receptor interaction. An IGF-I receptor-blocking antibody blocks the effects of IGF-I, IGF-II, and insulin, indicating that the effects are indeed mediated through the IGF-I receptor. The maximal effect of IGF-I on directed migration ranges between 50% and 100% of the effect of PDGF-BB, the strongest known chemoattractant for SMC. The ability of IGF-I and PDGF-BB to induce chemotaxis coincides with their ability to stimulate phosphatidylinositol turnover, diacylglycerol formation, and intracellular Ca2" flux and suggests that these signaling pathways,
The mechanisms that promote an inflammatory environment and accelerated atherosclerosis in diabetes are poorly understood. We show that macrophages isolated from two different mouse models of type 1 diabetes exhibit an inflammatory phenotype. This inflammatory phenotype associates with increased expression of long-chain acyl-CoA synthetase 1 (ACSL1), an enzyme that catalyzes the thioesterification of fatty acids. Monocytes from humans and mice with type 1 diabetes also exhibit increased ACSL1. Furthermore, myeloid-selective deletion of ACSL1 protects monocytes and macrophages from the inflammatory effects of diabetes. Strikingly, myeloid-selective deletion of ACSL1 also prevents accelerated atherosclerosis in diabetic mice without affecting lesions in nondiabetic mice. Our observations indicate that ACSL1 plays a critical role by promoting the inflammatory phenotype of macrophages associated with type 1 diabetes; they also raise the possibilities that diabetic atherosclerosis has an etiology that is, at least in part, distinct from the etiology of nondiabetic vascular disease and that this difference is because of increased monocyte and macrophage ACSL1 expression.
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