Abstract 3691: Deletion of Suppressor Of Cytokine Signaling-1 in a Murine Model of Atherosclerosis Results in a Lethal Systemic Inflammation
Introduction: Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the cardiovascular system which may result in myocardial infarction and sudden cardiac death. While the role of pro-inflammatory signaling pathways in atherogenesis has been well characterized, the impact of their negative regulators, e.g. suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)-1 remains to be elucidated. Deficiency of SOCS-1 leads to death 3 weeks post-partum due to an overwhelming inflammation caused by an uncontrolled signalling of interferon-gamma (IFNγ). This phenotype can be rescued by generating recombination activating gene (rag)-2, SOCS-1 double knock out (KO) mice lacking mature lymphocytes, the major source of IFNγ. Since the role of SOCS-1 during atherogenesis is unknown, we investigated the impact of a systemic SOCS-1 deficiency in the low-density lipoprotein receptor (ldlr) KO model of atherosclerosis.
Material and Methods: socs-1−/−/rag-2−/− deficient mice were crossed with ldlr-KO animals. Mice were kept under sterile conditions on a normal chow diet. For in-vitro analyses, murine socs-1−/− macrophages were stimulated with native low density lipoprotein (nLDL) or oxidized (ox)LDL. SOCS-1 expression was determined by quantitative PCR and western blot. Foam cell formation was determined by Oil red O staining.
Results: socs-1−/−/rag-2−/−/ldlr−/− mice were born according to mendelian law. Tripel-KO mice showed a reduced weight and size, were more sensitive to bacterial infections and died within 120 days (N=17). Histological analyses revealed a systemic, necrotic, inflammation in Tripel-KO mice. All other genotypes developed no phenotype. In-vitro observations revealed that SOCS-1 mRNA and protein is upregulated in response to stimulation with oxLDL but not with nLDL. Foam cell formation of socs-1−/−macrophages was increased compared to controls.
Conclusion: SOCS-1 seemingly controls critical steps of atherogenesis by modulating foam cell formation in response to stimulation with oxLDL. SOCS-1 deficiency in the ldlr-KO mouse leads to a lethal inflammation. These observations suggest a critical role for SOCS-1 in the regulation of early inflammatory responses in atherogenesis.