MicroRNAs are the most abundant class of regulatory noncoding RNA and are estimated to regulate over half of all human protein-coding genes. The heart is comprised of some of the most complex and highly conserved genetic networks and is thus under tight regulation by post-transcriptional mechanisms. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been found to regulate virtually all aspects of cardiac physiology and pathophysiology, from the development of inflammatory atherosclerosis to hypertrophic remodeling in heart failure. Owing to the wide-spread involvement of miRNAs in the development of and protection from many diseases, there has been increasing excitement surrounding their potential as novel therapeutic targets to treat and prevent the worldwide epidemic of cardiovascular disease.
During obesity, macrophage accumulation in adipose tissue propagates the chronic inflammation and insulin resistance associated with type 2 diabetes. The factors, however, that regulate the accrual of macrophages in adipose tissue are not well understood. Here we show that the neuroimmune guidance cue netrin-1 is highly expressed in obese but not lean adipose tissue of humans and mice, where it directs the retention of macrophages. Netrin-1, whose expression is induced in macrophages by the saturated fatty acid palmitate, acts via its receptor Unc5b to block their migration. In a mouse model of diet-induced obesity, we show that adipose tissue macrophages exhibit reduced migratory capacity, which can be restored by blocking netrin-1. Furthermore, hematopoietic deletion of Ntn1 facilitates adipose tissue macrophage emigration, reduces inflammation and improves insulin sensitivity. Collectively, these findings identify netrin-1 as a macrophage retention signal in adipose tissue during obesity that promotes chronic inflammation and insulin resistance.
Recent discoveries of microRNAs (miRNAs) that control high-density lipoprotein abundance and function have expanded our knowledge of the mechanisms regulating this important lipoprotein subclass. miRNAs have been shown to regulate gene networks that control high-density lipoprotein biogenesis and uptake, as well as discrete steps in the reverse cholesterol transport pathway. Furthermore, high-density lipoprotein itself has been shown to transport miRNAs selectively in health and disease, offering new possibilities of how this lipoprotein may alter gene expression in distal target cells and tissues. Collectively, these discoveries offer new insights into the mechanisms governing high-density lipoprotein metabolism and function and open new avenues for the development of therapeutics for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
In the last decade, microRNAs (miRNAs) have revolutionized how we understand metabolism and disease. These small, 20- to 22-nucleotide RNA molecules fine-tune gene expression and can often coordinate multiple genes in a single pathway. Given the multifactorial nature of cardiovascular disease, it is perhaps not surprising that miRNAs have been shown to orchestrate many aspects of disease development, from modulating metabolic risk factors over a lifetime (eg, cholesterol and hormones) to controlling the response to an acute cardiovascular event (eg, inflammation and hypoxia). In this review, we discuss how miRNAs exert control over metabolic pathways that maintain vascular health and, when these pathways go awry, how miRNAs can be targeted for therapeutic modulation.
Cathepsin G is a serine protease with a broad range of catalytic activities, including production of angiotensin II, degradation of extracellular matrix and cell-cell junctions, modulation of chemotactic responses, and induction of apoptosis. Cathepsin G mRNA expression is increased in human coronary atheroma vs. the normal vessel. To assess whether cathepsin G modulates atherosclerosis, cathepsin G knockout (Cstg(-/-)) mice were bred with apolipoprotein E knockout (Apoe(-/-)) mice to obtain Ctsg(+/-)Apoe(-/-) and Ctsg(+/+)Apoe(-/-) mice. Heterozygous cathepsin G deficiency led to a 70% decrease in cathepsin G activity in bone marrow cells, but this reduced activity did not impair generation of angiotensin II in bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM). Atherosclerotic lesions were compared in male Cstg(+/-)Apoe(-/-) and Cstg(+/+)Apoe(-/-) mice after 8 wk on a high-fat diet. Plasma cholesterol levels and cholesterol distribution within serum lipoprotein fractions did not differ between genotypes nor did the atherosclerotic lesion areas in either the aortic root or aortic arch. Cstg(+/-)Apoe(-/-) mice, however, showed a lower percentage of complex lesions within the aortic root and a smaller number of apoptotic cells compared with Cstg(+/+)Apoe(-/-) littermates. Furthermore, apoptotic Cstg(-/-) BMDM were more efficiently engulfed by phagocytic BMDM than were apoptotic Ctsg(+/+) BMDM. Thus cathepsin G activity may impair efferocytosis, which could lead to an accumulation of lesion-associated apoptotic cells and the accelerated progression of early atherosclerotic lesions to more complex lesions in Apoe(-/-) mice.
Hypoxia is intimately linked to atherosclerosis and has become recognized as a primary impetus of inflammation. We recently demonstrated that the neuroimmune guidance cue netrin-1 (Ntn1) inhibits macrophage emigration from atherosclerotic plaques, thereby fostering chronic inflammation. However, the mechanisms governing netrin-1 expression in atherosclerosis are not well understood. In this study, we investigate the role of hypoxia in regulating expression of netrin-1 and its receptor uncoordinated-5-B receptor (Unc5b) in plaque macrophages and its functional consequences on these immune cells.
The complexity of microRNA (miRNA)-mediated pathway control has burgeoned since the discovery that miRNAs are found in the extracellular space and constitute a form of cell-cell communication. miRNAs have been found in plasma, urine, and saliva and have recently been shown to be carried on lipoproteins. This has led to the proposal that circulating miRNAs may be useful biomarkers of various diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other forms of dysregulated metabolism. Although our understanding of the cellular machinery responsible for the secretion of miRNA is incomplete, it has been demonstrated that miRNAs are packaged into exosomes, microvesicles, and apoptotic bodies by a broad range of cell types. Intriguingly, a large portion of extracellular miRNA is found outside of any lipid-containing vesicle, and instead is associated with RNA binding proteins like argonautes 1 and 2, which may aid in their protection from abundant nucleases in the extracellular space. The excitement for miRNAs as biomarkers is mounting as more and more evidence supports that these noncoding RNAs are actively secreted from diseased tissues, possibly before the onset of overt disease. While caution should be taken in these early days, there is little doubt that extracellular miRNAs will hold tremendous potential as both diagnostic and therapeutic agents.
Particulate ligands, including cholesterol crystals and amyloid fibrils, induce production of interleukin 1? (IL-1?) dependent on the cytoplasmic sensor NLRP3 in atherosclerosis, Alzheimers disease and diabetes. Soluble endogenous ligands, including oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL), amyloid-? and amylin peptides, accumulate in such diseases. Here we identify an endocytic pathway mediated by the pattern-recognition receptor CD36 that coordinated the intracellular conversion of those soluble ligands into crystals or fibrils, which resulted in lysosomal disruption and activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Consequently, macrophages that lacked CD36 failed to elicit IL-1? production in response to those ligands, and targeting CD36 in atherosclerotic mice resulted in lower serum concentrations of IL-1? and accumulation of cholesterol crystals in plaques. Collectively, our findings highlight the importance of CD36 in the accrual and nucleation of NLRP3 ligands from within the macrophage and position CD36 as a central regulator of inflammasome activation in sterile inflammation.
Previously, we showed an inverse correlation between HSP27 serum levels and experimental atherogenesis in ApoE(-/-) mice that over-express HSP27 and speculated that the apparent binding of HSP27 to scavenger receptor-A (SR-A) was of mechanistic importance in attenuating foam cell formation. However, the nature and importance of the interplay between HSP27 and SR-A in atheroprotection remained unclear. Treatment of THP-1 macrophages with recombinant HSP27 (rHSP27) inhibited acLDL binding (-34%; p<0.005) and uptake (-38%, p<0.05). rHSP27 reduced SR-A mRNA (-39%, p=0.02), total protein (-56%, p=0.01) and cell surface (-53%, p<0.001) expression. The reduction in SR-A expression by rHSP27 was associated with a 4-fold increase in nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-?B) signaling (p<0.001 versus control), while an inhibitor of NF-?B signaling, BAY11-7082, attenuated the negative effects of rHSP27 on both SR-A expression and lipid uptake. To determine if SR-A is required for HSP27 mediated atheroprotection in vivo, ApoE(-/-) and ApoE(-/-) SR-A(-/-) mice fed with a high fat diet were treated for 3weeks with rHSP25. Compared to controls, rHSP25 therapy reduced aortic en face and aortic sinus atherosclerotic lesion size in ApoE(-/-) mice by 39% and 36% (p<0.05), respectively, but not in ApoE(-/-)SR-A(-/-) mice. In conclusion, rHSP27 diminishes SR-A expression, resulting in attenuated foam cell formation in vitro. Regulation of SR-A by HSP27 may involve the participation of NF-?B signaling. Lastly, SR-A is required for HSP27-mediated atheroprotection in vivo.
The persistence of myeloid-derived cells in the artery wall is a characteristic of advanced atherosclerotic plaques. However, the mechanisms by which these cells are retained are poorly understood. Semaphorins, a class of neuronal guidance molecules, play a critical role in vascular patterning and development, and recent studies suggest that they may also have immunomodulatory functions. The present study evaluates the expression of Semaphorin 3E (Sema3E) in settings relevant to atherosclerosis and its contribution to macrophage accumulation in plaques.
Expression of Heat Shock Protein-27 (HSP27) is reduced in human coronary atherosclerosis. Over-expression of HSP27 is protective against the early formation of lesions in atherosclerosis-prone apoE(-/-) mice (apoE(-/-)HSP27(o/e)) - however, only in females. We now seek to determine if chronic HSP27 over-expression is protective in a model of advanced atherosclerosis in both male and female apoE(-/-) mice.
Although the role for microRNAs (miRNAs) in regulating multiple physiological processes including apoptosis, cell differentiation, and cancer is well established, the importance of these tiny RNAs in regulating lipid metabolism has only recently been uncovered. This review summarizes the evidence for a critical role of miRNAs in regulating lipid metabolism.
Recent studies suggest that modulation of estrogen receptor ? (ER?) may play a crucial role in maintaining vascular homeostasis. We hypothesized that selective ER? activation will attenuate atherogenesis via anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of mortality in westernized countries, despite optimum medical therapy to reduce the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-associated cholesterol. The pursuit of novel therapies to target the residual risk has focused on raising the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-associated cholesterol in order to exploit its atheroprotective effects. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as important post-transcriptional regulators of lipid metabolism and are thus a new class of target for therapeutic intervention. MicroRNA-33a and microRNA-33b (miR-33a/b) are intronic miRNAs whose encoding regions are embedded in the sterol-response-element-binding protein genes SREBF2 and SREBF1 (refs 3-5), respectively. These miRNAs repress expression of the cholesterol transporter ABCA1, which is a key regulator of HDL biogenesis. Recent studies in mice suggest that antagonizing miR-33a may be an effective strategy for raising plasma HDL levels and providing protection against atherosclerosis; however, extrapolating these findings to humans is complicated by the fact that mice lack miR-33b, which is present only in the SREBF1 gene of medium and large mammals. Here we show in African green monkeys that systemic delivery of an anti-miRNA oligonucleotide that targets both miR-33a and miR-33b increased hepatic expression of ABCA1 and induced a sustained increase in plasma HDL levels over 12 weeks. Notably, miR-33 antagonism in this non-human primate model also increased the expression of miR-33 target genes involved in fatty acid oxidation (CROT, CPT1A, HADHB and PRKAA1) and reduced the expression of genes involved in fatty acid synthesis (SREBF1, FASN, ACLY and ACACA), resulting in a marked suppression of the plasma levels of very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)-associated triglycerides, a finding that has not previously been observed in mice. These data establish, in a model that is highly relevant to humans, that pharmacological inhibition of miR-33a and miR-33b is a promising therapeutic strategy to raise plasma HDL and lower VLDL triglyceride levels for the treatment of dyslipidaemias that increase cardiovascular disease risk.
Cellular imbalances of cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism result in pathological processes, including atherosclerosis and metabolic syndrome. Recent work from our group and others has shown that the intronic microRNAs hsa-miR-33a and hsa-miR-33b are located within the sterol regulatory element-binding protein-2 and -1 genes, respectively, and regulate cholesterol homeostasis in concert with their host genes. Here, we show that miR-33a and -b also regulate genes involved in fatty acid metabolism and insulin signaling. miR-33a and -b target key enzymes involved in the regulation of fatty acid oxidation, including carnitine O-octaniltransferase, carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A, hydroxyacyl-CoA-dehydrogenase, Sirtuin 6 (SIRT6), and AMP kinase subunit-?. Moreover, miR-33a and -b also target the insulin receptor substrate 2, an essential component of the insulin-signaling pathway in the liver. Overexpression of miR-33a and -b reduces both fatty acid oxidation and insulin signaling in hepatic cell lines, whereas inhibition of endogenous miR-33a and -b increases these two metabolic pathways. Together, these data establish that miR-33a and -b regulate pathways controlling three of the risk factors of metabolic syndrome, namely levels of HDL, triglycerides, and insulin signaling, and suggest that inhibitors of miR-33a and -b may be useful in the treatment of this growing health concern.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) represent an elegant mechanism of posttranscriptional control of gene expression that serves to fine-tune biological processes. These tiny noncoding RNAs (20-22 nucleotide) bind to the 3 untranslated region of mRNAs, thereby repressing gene expression. Recent advances in the understanding of lipid metabolism have revealed that miRNAs, particularly miR-122 and miR-33, play major roles in regulating cholesterol and fatty acid homeostasis. miR-122, the most abundant miRNA in the liver, appears to maintain the hepatic cell phenotype, and its inhibition decreases total serum cholesterol. miR-33, an intronic miRNA located with the sterol response element-binding protein (SREBP)-2 gene, regulates cholesterol efflux, fatty acid ? oxidation, and high-density lipoprotein metabolism. These findings have highlighted the complexity of lipid homeostasis and the important role that miRNAs play in these processes, potentially opening new avenues for the treatment of dyslipidemias.
HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) plasma levels are inversely related to cardiovascular disease risk. Previous studies have shown in animals and humans that HDL promotes regression of atherosclerosis. We hypothesized that this was related to an ability to promote the loss of monocyte-derived cells (CD68(+), primarily macrophages and macrophage foam cells) from plaques. To test this hypothesis, we used an established model of atherosclerosis regression in which plaque-bearing aortic arches from apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE(-/-)) mice (low HDL-C, high non-HDL-C) were transplanted into recipient mice with differing levels of HDL-C and non-HDL-C: C57BL6 mice (normal HDL-C, low non-HDL-C), apoAI(-/-) mice (low HDL-C, low non-HDL-C), or apoE(-/-) mice transgenic for human apoAI (hAI/apoE(-/-); normal HDL-C, high non-HDL-C). Remarkably, despite persistent elevated non-HDL-C in hAI/apoE(-/-) recipients, plaque CD68(+) cell content decreased by >50% by 1 wk after transplantation, whereas there was little change in apoAI(-/-) recipient mice despite hypolipidemia. The decreased content of plaque CD68(+) cells after HDL-C normalization was associated with their emigration and induction of their chemokine receptor CCR7. Furthermore, in CD68(+) cells laser-captured from the plaques, normalization of HDL-C led to decreased expression of inflammatory factors and enrichment of markers of the M2 (tissue repair) macrophage state. Again, none of these beneficial changes were observed in the apoAI(-/-) recipients, suggesting a major requirement for reverse cholesterol transport for the beneficial effects of HDL. Overall, these results establish HDL as a regulator in vivo of the migratory and inflammatory properties of monocyte-derived cells in mouse atherosclerotic plaques, and highlight the phenotypic plasticity of these cells.
Plasma HDL levels have a protective role in atherosclerosis, yet clinical therapies to raise HDL levels have remained elusive. Recent advances in the understanding of lipid metabolism have revealed that miR-33, an intronic microRNA located within the SREBF2 gene, suppresses expression of the cholesterol transporter ABC transporter A1 (ABCA1) and lowers HDL levels. Conversely, mechanisms that inhibit miR-33 increase ABCA1 and circulating HDL levels, suggesting that antagonism of miR-33 may be atheroprotective. As the regression of atherosclerosis is clinically desirable, we assessed the impact of miR-33 inhibition in mice deficient for the LDL receptor (Ldlr-/- mice), with established atherosclerotic plaques. Mice treated with anti-miR33 for 4 weeks showed an increase in circulating HDL levels and enhanced reverse cholesterol transport to the plasma, liver, and feces. Consistent with this, anti-miR33-treated mice showed reductions in plaque size and lipid content, increased markers of plaque stability, and decreased inflammatory gene expression. Notably, in addition to raising ABCA1 levels in the liver, anti-miR33 oligonucleotides directly targeted the plaque macrophages, in which they enhanced ABCA1 expression and cholesterol removal. These studies establish that raising HDL levels by anti-miR33 oligonucleotide treatment promotes reverse cholesterol transport and atherosclerosis regression and suggest that it may be a promising strategy to treat atherosclerotic vascular disease.
Recent clinical trials suggest an LDL-independent superiority of intensive statin therapy in reducing target vessel revascularization and peri-procedural myocardial infarctions in patients who undergo percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI). While animal studies demonstrate that statins mobilize endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) which can enhance arterial repair and attenuate neointimal formation, the precise explanation for the clinical PCI benefits of high dose statin therapy remain elusive. Thus we serially assessed patients undergoing PCI to test the hypothesis that high dose Atorvastatin therapy initiated prior to PCI mobilizes EPCs that may be capable of enhancing arterial repair.
Cholesterol metabolism is tightly regulated at the cellular level. In addition to classic transcriptional regulation of cholesterol metabolism (e.g. by SREBP and LXR), members of a class of non-coding RNAs termed microRNAs (miRNAs) have recently been identified to be potent post-transcriptional regulators of lipid metabolism genes, including cholesterol homeostasis. We and others have recently shown that miR-33 regulates cholesterol efflux and HDL biogenesis by downregulating the expression of the ABC transporters, ABCA1 and ABCG1. In addition to miR-33, miR-122 and miR-370 have been shown to play important roles in regulating cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism. These new data suggest important roles of microRNAs in the epigenetic regulation of cholesterol metabolism and have opened new avenues for the treatment of dyslipidemias.
Although the use of estrogen replacement therapy for postmenopausal women has been dramatically curtailed due to an unfavorable risk-benefit profile, there remains strong experimental evidence that ovarian hormones have a favorable effect on vessel wall homeostasis. We recently discovered that release of heat shock protein 27 (HSP27) into the serum is atheroprotective and mediated by ovarian hormones, preferentially functioning via estrogen receptor-beta. HSP27 binds scavenger receptor-A, reduces cholesterol uptake in macrophages, and attenuates mediators of vascular inflammation. Therefore, it is attractive to consider HSP27 as the active foot soldier of estrogens and potentially a novel therapeutic opportunity for vascular disease.
Cholesterol metabolism is tightly regulated at the cellular level. Here we show that miR-33, an intronic microRNA (miRNA) located within the gene encoding sterol-regulatory element-binding factor-2 (SREBF-2), a transcriptional regulator of cholesterol synthesis, modulates the expression of genes involved in cellular cholesterol transport. In mouse and human cells, miR-33 inhibits the expression of the adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette (ABC) transporter, ABCA1, thereby attenuating cholesterol efflux to apolipoprotein A1. In mouse macrophages, miR-33 also targets ABCG1, reducing cholesterol efflux to nascent high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Lentiviral delivery of miR-33 to mice represses ABCA1 expression in the liver, reducing circulating HDL levels. Conversely, silencing of miR-33 in vivo increases hepatic expression of ABCA1 and plasma HDL levels. Thus, miR-33 appears to regulate both HDL biogenesis in the liver and cellular cholesterol efflux.
The inflammatory nature of atherosclerosis is well established but the agent(s) that incite inflammation in the artery wall remain largely unknown. Germ-free animals are susceptible to atherosclerosis, suggesting that endogenous substances initiate the inflammation. Mature atherosclerotic lesions contain macroscopic deposits of cholesterol crystals in the necrotic core, but their appearance late in atherogenesis had been thought to disqualify them as primary inflammatory stimuli. However, using a new microscopic technique, we revealed that minute cholesterol crystals are present in early diet-induced atherosclerotic lesions and that their appearance in mice coincides with the first appearance of inflammatory cells. Other crystalline substances can induce inflammation by stimulating the caspase-1-activating NLRP3 (NALP3 or cryopyrin) inflammasome, which results in cleavage and secretion of interleukin (IL)-1 family cytokines. Here we show that cholesterol crystals activate the NLRP3 inflammasome in phagocytes in vitro in a process that involves phagolysosomal damage. Similarly, when injected intraperitoneally, cholesterol crystals induce acute inflammation, which is impaired in mice deficient in components of the NLRP3 inflammasome, cathepsin B, cathepsin L or IL-1 molecules. Moreover, when mice deficient in low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) were bone-marrow transplanted with NLRP3-deficient, ASC (also known as PYCARD)-deficient or IL-1alpha/beta-deficient bone marrow and fed on a high-cholesterol diet, they had markedly decreased early atherosclerosis and inflammasome-dependent IL-18 levels. Minimally modified LDL can lead to cholesterol crystallization concomitant with NLRP3 inflammasome priming and activation in macrophages. Although there is the possibility that oxidized LDL activates the NLRP3 inflammasome in vivo, our results demonstrate that crystalline cholesterol acts as an endogenous danger signal and its deposition in arteries or elsewhere is an early cause rather than a late consequence of inflammation. These findings provide new insights into the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and indicate new potential molecular targets for the therapy of this disease.
In atherosclerosis and Alzheimers disease, deposition of the altered self components oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and amyloid-beta triggers a protracted sterile inflammatory response. Although chronic stimulation of the innate immune system is believed to underlie the pathology of these diseases, the molecular mechanisms of activation remain unclear. Here we show that oxidized LDL and amyloid-beta trigger inflammatory signaling through a heterodimer of Toll-like receptors 4 and 6. Assembly of this newly identified heterodimer is regulated by signals from the scavenger receptor CD36, a common receptor for these disparate ligands. Our results identify CD36-TLR4-TLR6 activation as a common molecular mechanism by which atherogenic lipids and amyloid-beta stimulate sterile inflammation and suggest a new model of TLR heterodimerization triggered by coreceptor signaling events.
We recently identified HSP27 as an atheroprotective protein that acts extracellularly to prevent foam cell formation and atherogenesis in female but not male mice, where serum levels of HSP27 were increased and inversely correlated with degree of lesion burden. In the current study we sought to determine whether estrogens are required for the observed atheroprotective benefits of HSP27 as well as its extracellular release.
Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are circulating pluripotent vascular cells capable of enhancing re-endothelialization and diminishing neointima formation following arterial injury. Glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3beta is a protein kinase that has been implicated in the regulation of progenitor cell biology. We hypothesized that EPC abundance and function could be enhanced with the use of an inhibitor of GSK-3beta (GSKi), thereby resulting in improved arterial repair.
While the discovery of microRNAs has exponentially expanded our understanding of the regulatory mechanisms governing gene networks in many biological processes, the study of these tiny RNA powerhouses in cardiovascular disease is in its infancy. To date, there have been over 1200 human microRNAs identified, and they are estimated to affect the expression of over half of the protein-coding portion of the human genome. In this review, we will discuss miRNAs that are integral players in processes affecting risk factors for CVD, as well as miRNAs that act at the level of the vessel wall to affect atherogenesis. We will discuss how microRNAs are not only advancing the field of cardiovascular biology, but how some miRNAs are at the forefront of drug development and may be soon advancing into the clinic.
Atherosclerotic plaque formation is fueled by the persistence of lipid-laden macrophages in the artery wall. The mechanisms by which these cells become trapped, thereby establishing chronic inflammation, remain unknown. Here we found that netrin-1, a neuroimmune guidance cue, was secreted by macrophages in human and mouse atheroma, where it inactivated the migration of macrophages toward chemokines linked to their egress from plaques. Acting via its receptor, UNC5b, netrin-1 inhibited the migration of macrophages directed by the chemokines CCL2 and CCL19, activation of the actin-remodeling GTPase Rac1 and actin polymerization. Targeted deletion of netrin-1 in macrophages resulted in much less atherosclerosis in mice deficient in the receptor for low-density lipoprotein and promoted the emigration of macrophages from plaques. Thus, netrin-1 promoted atherosclerosis by retaining macrophages in the artery wall. Our results establish a causative role for negative regulators of leukocyte migration in chronic inflammation.
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