Endothelial Mineralocorticoid Receptors Contribute to Vascular Inflammation in Atherosclerosis in a Sex-Specific Manner
Summary, in English
OBJECTIVE: MR (mineralocorticoid receptor) activation is associated with cardiovascular ischemia in humans. This study explores the role of the MR in atherosclerotic mice of both sexes and identifies a sex-specific role for endothelial cell (EC)-MR in vascular inflammation. Approach and Results: In the AAV-PCSK9 (adeno-associated virus-proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9) mouse atherosclerosis model, MR inhibition attenuated vascular inflammation in males but not females. Further studies comparing male and female littermates with intact MR or EC-MR deletion revealed that although EC-MR deletion did not affect plaque size in either sex, it reduced aortic arch inflammation specifically in male mice as measured by flow cytometry. Moreover, MR-intact females had larger plaques but were protected from vascular inflammation compared with males. Intravital microscopy of the mesenteric vasculature demonstrated that EC-MR deletion attenuated TNFα (tumor necrosis factor α)-induced leukocyte slow rolling and adhesion in males, while females exhibited fewer leukocyte-endothelial interactions with no additional effect of EC-MR deletion. These effects corresponded with decreased TNFα-induced expression of the endothelial adhesion molecules ICAM-1 (intercellular adhesion molecule-1) and E-selectin in males with EC-MR deletion compared with MR-intact males and females of both genotypes. These observations were also consistent with MR and estrogen regulation of ICAM-1 transcription and E-selectin expression in primary cultured mouse ECs and human umbilical vein ECs.
CONCLUSIONS: In male mice, EC-MR deletion attenuates leukocyte-endothelial interactions, plaque inflammation, and expression of E-selectin and ICAM-1, providing a potential mechanism by which the MR promotes vascular inflammation. In females, plaque inflammation and leukocyte-endothelial interactions are decreased relative to males and EC-MR deletion is not protective.
- Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
- ISSN: 1524-4636