Abstract 32: Hypercholesterolemia-induced Priming of Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells Aggravates Atherosclerosis
During homeostasis hematopoietic stem and progenitor stem cells (HSPCs) give rise to lymphoid and myeloid cells as well as platelets and erythrocytes. However, during chronic inflammatory conditions hematopoiesis is often skewed towards the myeloid lineage, thereby potentially aggravating the ongoing inflammation. Here we investigated the effects of hypercholesterolemia on HSPCs during atherogenesis.
Hypercholesterolemia increased HSPCs, defined as Lin-Sca1+cKit-, in the bone marrow (BM) of LDLr-/- mice by 253.1%. The number of granulocyte-monocyte progenitors, BM granulocytes and BM monocytes was increased by 18.1%, 34.8% and 13.2%, respectively. In accordance, the myeloid colony forming potential of hypercholesterolemic BM was increased by 25.8%. Peripheral blood monocytes and granulocytes were increased by 203.0% and 161.1%, respectively.
Competitive bone marrow transplantations (cBMT) in which we compared the effects of normo- vs. hypercholesterolemia primed HSPCs confirmed that the hypercholesterolemic microenvironment activates HSPCs, as reflected by a 26.5% increased reconstitution of peripheral blood leukocytes 10 weeks after the cBMT. Moreover, hypercholesterolemia-primed, and not normocholesterolemia-primed HSPCs acquired an enhanced propensity to generate myeloid cells, especially granulocytes and Ly6Chigh monocytes, even under long-term normocholesterolemic conditions in the recipient animals. cBMT demonstrated that hypercholesterolemia-induced activation of HSPCs increased atherosclerosis in LDLr-/- mice by 122.1% and increased CD45.1+ plaque leukocytes by 76.1%. Macrophages differentiated from hypercholesterolemia-primed BM produced increased levels of TNFα (+21.3%), IL6 (+17.4%) and MCP1 (+10.5%) compared to their normocholesterolemic counterparts, demonstrating that hypercholesterolemia-induced priming of HSPCs increased the inflammatory phenotype of their mature offspring.
These results demonstrate that hypercholesterolemia-induced priming of HSPCs aggravates atherosclerosis by skewing hematopoiesis towards the pro-inflammatory myeloid lineages. Inhibition of this pro-inflammatory differentiation pathway on HSPC level has the potential to reduce atherosclerosis.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.