Plaque stabilizing effects of apolipoprotein A-IV.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Atherosclerosis, 2016, 251, pp. 39-46
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BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Apolipoprotein (apo) A-IV, the third most abundant HDL-associated protein, is atheroprotective and shares similar properties as apoA-I. We have reported previously that apoA-I, the most abundant apolipoprotein in HDL, inhibits plaque disruption in a mouse model. We aimed at examining the effects of apoA-IV on markers of plaque stability in vivo. METHODS: Plaques within brachiocephalic arteries of 16-week old apoE-knockout C57BL/6 mice were examined for changes in composition after 10 weeks on a high-fat diet (HFD). The animals received twice-weekly injections of human lipid-free apoA-IV (1 mg/kg, n = 31) or PBS (n = 32) during the 9th and 10th weeks of the HFD. RESULTS: In the apoA-IV treated mice, there were significantly fewer hemorrhagic plaque disruptions (9/31 vs. 18/32, p < 0.05), thicker fibrous caps, smaller lipid cores, a lower macrophage:SMC ratio, less MMP-9 protein, more collagen, and fewer proliferating cells. In the plaques of mice given apoA-IV, MCP-1, VCAM-1, and inducible NOS were also significantly lower. Based on the percentage of cleaved PARP-positive and TUNEL-positive plaque nuclei, apoA-IV reduced apoptosis. in HMDMs, apoA-IV reduced MMP-9 mRNA expression by half, doubled mRNA levels of TIMP1 and decreased MMP-9 activity. CONCLUSIONS: ApoA-IV treatment is associated with a more stable plaque phenotype and a reduced incidence of acute disruptions in this mouse model.
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