Abstract 3693: Early Growth Response Gene-1 Deficiency In Bone-marrow-derived Cells Reduces Macrophage Accumulation And Atherosclerotic Lesion Formation In A Hyperlipidemic Mouse Model
Early growth response gene-1 (Egr-1), a prototype of a family of zinc-finger transcription factors, is a master regulator of many genes which play important roles in cardiovascular diseases. Within atherosclerotic lesions Egr-1 is expressed in several cell types, such as smooth muscle cells, endothelial cells and monocytes/macrophages. Since macrophages play a pivotal role in atherosclerotic lesion development, this study investigated the effects of Egr-1-deficiency within bone-marrow derived cells on the development of atherosclerosis in a hyperlipidemic mouse model. Therefore we transplanted bone-marrow from Egr-1 deficient mice and wild type controls into lethally irradiated low-density lipoprotein receptor deficient mice. After 20 weeks on a western diet atherosclerotic lesions within the aortic sinus and gene expression of inflammatory genes in the aortas of the recipients were evaluated. Mice receiving Egr-1 deficient bone-marrow had less atherosclerotic lesion development compared with mice receiving wild type bone-marrow (318 736 ± 98 910μm2 vs. 404 539 ± 92 408μm2, p<0.05). The size of the necrotic core within the lesions was also reduced. Immunohistochemistry revealed that mice receiving Egr-1 deficient bone-marrow had less macrophages in comparison to controls. Gene expression analysis in the aortas of the mice demonstrated reduced expression of Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule (VCAM-1), an important adhesion molecule during the development of atherosclerosis. These results were validated with in vitro studies where Egr-1-deficient peritoneal macrophages revealed less VCAM-1 mRNA expression after stimulation with lipopolysaccharide in comparison to wildtype macrophages. This study demonstrates that bone-marrow derived Egr-1 promotes macrophage accumulation and atherosclerotic lesion development possible over an increased expression of VCAM-1.