Macrophage polarization by angiotensin II-type 1 receptor aggravates renal injury-acceleration of atherosclerosis.

Yamamoto S, Yancey PG, Zuo Y, Ma LJ, Kaseda R, Fogo AB, Ichikawa I, Linton MF, Fazio S, Kon V
Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2011 31 (12): 2856-64

PMID: 21979434 · PMCID: PMC3227118 · DOI:10.1161/ATVBAHA.111.237198

OBJECTIVE - Angiotensin II is a major determinant of atherosclerosis. Although macrophages are the most abundant cells in atherosclerotic plaques and express angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1), the pathophysiologic role of macrophage AT1 in atherogenesis remains uncertain. We examined the contribution of macrophage AT1 to accelerated atherosclerosis in an angiotensin II-responsive setting induced by uninephrectomy (UNx).

METHODS AND RESULTS - AT1(-/-) or AT1(+/+) marrow from apolipoprotein E deficient (apoE(-/-)) mice was transplanted into recipient apoE(-/-) mice with subsequent UNx or sham operation: apoE(-/-)/AT1(+/+)→apoE(-/-)+sham; apoE(-/-)/AT1(+/+) →apoE(-/-)+UNx; apoE(-/-)/AT1(-/-)→apoE(-/-)+sham; apoE(-/-)/AT1(-/-)→apoE(-/-)+UNx. No differences in body weight, blood pressure, lipid profile, and serum creatinine were observed between the 2 UNx groups. ApoE(-/-)/AT1(+/+) →apoE(-/-)+UNx had significantly more atherosclerosis (16907±21473 versus 116071±8180 μm(2), P<0.05). By contrast, loss of macrophage AT1 which reduced local AT1 expression, prevented any effect of UNx on atherosclerosis (77174±9947 versus 75714±11333 μm(2), P=NS). Although UNx did not affect total macrophage content in the atheroma, lesions in apoE(-/-)/AT1(-/-)→apoE(-/-)+UNx had fewer classically activated macrophage phenotype (M1) and more alternatively activated phenotype (M2). Further, UNx did not affect plaque necrosis or apoptosis in apoE(-/-)/AT1(-/-)→apoE(-/-) whereas it significantly increased both (by 2- and 6-fold, respectively) in apoE(-/-)/AT1(+/+) →apoE(-/-) mice. Instead, apoE(-/-)/AT1(-/-)→apoE(-/-) had 5-fold-increase in macrophage-associated apoptotic bodies, indicating enhanced efferocytosis. In vitro studies confirmed blunted susceptibility to apoptosis, especially in M2 macrophages, and a more efficient phagocytic function of AT1(-/-) macrophages versus AT1(+/+).

CONCLUSIONS - AT1 receptor of bone marrow-derived macrophages worsens the extent and complexity of renal injury-induced atherosclerosis by shifting the macrophage phenotype to more M1 and less M2 through mechanisms that include increased apoptosis and impaired efferocytosis.

MeSH Terms (16)

Acute Kidney Injury Angiotensin II Animals Apolipoproteins E Apoptosis Atherosclerosis Cell Polarity Disease Models, Animal Female Macrophages Mice Mice, Inbred C57BL Mice, Knockout Nephrectomy Phenotype Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1

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