Abstract 3968: Bone Marrow Derived Growth Differentiation Factor-15 (GDF-15) Protects from Macrophage Accumulation and Effects Atherosclerotic Lesion Stabilisation in Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor-Null Mice
Atherosclerosis is considered to be a chronic inflammatory disease. Macrophages are the prime sources of a variety of inflammatory cytokines and growth factors, which contribute to the initiation and progression of atherosclerotic lesions. The cytokine growth differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15) is a newly discovered member of the transforming growth factor-beta cytokine. GDF-15 participates in vascular inflammation and is mostly expressed by macrophages within the lesions. In this study the impact of GDF-15 deficiency in bone marrow-derived cells on atherogenesis in a mouse model was examined. Bone marrow from GDF15 −/−or GDF-15 +/+ mice was transplanted into lethally irradiated low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR−/−) mice (n=38). Twentyfour weeks after administration of a high-fat/high-cholesterol Western type diet atherosclerotic lesion size within the aortic root as well as macrophage content was quantified and compared. In addition features of lesion destabilisation like size of the necrotic core, thinning of the fibrous cap, intra-plaque hemorrhage and calcification were evaluated. In an in-vitro experiment peritoneal macrophages from transplanted mice were harvested and stimulated with tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα). Transplantation of GDF-15 −/− bone marrow cells resulted in an enhanced macrophage accumulation within the atherosclerotic lesions (ratio mac/lesion 0.51 versus 0.31; p<0.05) and a significant thinning of the fibrous cap (30.5 versus 48.5 μm; p<0.05). Cell culture experiments demonstrated that macrophages from GDF-15 −/− mice had a much higher induction of ICAM-1 and MCP-1 after stimulation with TNFα in comparison to wildtype peritoneal macrophages. However no difference in lesion size could be reported. Furthermore, there was no difference in plasma lipid levels and body weight. Our data indicates that bone marrow derived GDF-15 protects from macrophage accumulation within atherosclerotic lesions and promotes lesion stabilisation possibly due to inhibition of adhesion molecules and MCP-1.