EphA2 Expression Regulates Inflammation and Fibroproliferative Remodeling in Atherosclerosis

Circulation
Alexandra Christine FinneyA Wayne Orr

Abstract

Atherosclerotic plaque formation results from chronic inflammation and fibroproliferative remodeling in the vascular wall. We previously demonstrated that both human and mouse atherosclerotic plaques show elevated expression of EphA2, a guidance molecule involved in cell-cell interactions and tumorigenesis. Here, we assessed the role of EphA2 in atherosclerosis by deleting EphA2 in a mouse model of atherosclerosis (Apoe-/-) and by assessing EphA2 function in multiple vascular cell culture models. After 8 to 16 weeks on a Western diet, male and female mice were assessed for atherosclerotic burden in the large vessels, and plasma lipid levels were analyzed. Despite enhanced weight gain and plasma lipid levels compared with Apoe-/- controls, EphA2-/-Apoe-/- knockout mice show diminished atherosclerotic plaque formation, characterized by reduced proinflammatory gene expression and plaque macrophage content. Although plaque macrophages express EphA2, EphA2 deletion does not affect macrophage phenotype, inflammatory responses, and lipid uptake, and bone marrow chimeras suggest that hematopoietic EphA2 deletion does not affect plaque formation. In contrast, endothelial EphA2 knockdown significantly reduces monocyte firm adhesion under...Continue Reading

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