Abstract 380: Vascular Pcsk9: A Mediator for Atherogenesis Independent of LDL Receptor
PCSK9 (Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9) increases the LDL levels by binding to hepatocyte LDL receptors (LDLR) and subjects it to degradation. We show that PCSK9 regulates apolipoprotein B (apoB) production by inhibiting its degradation process via the autophagic pathway, irrespective of the presence of LDLR. In addition to the role of PCSK9 in promoting hyperlipidemia, we hypothesized that vascular-PCSK9 in endothelial cells (EC) plays a role in initiating atherogenesis, irrespective of the presence of LDL receptor.
Our laboratory has generated double knockout mice lacking both LDLR and Apobec1 (apoB mRNA editing enzyme), named LDb, Ldlr-/-Apobec1-/-. They have the lipoprotein phenotype mimics human with hyperlipidemia; elevated levels of VLDL and LDL with low levels of HDL. They develop atherosclerotic lesions spontaneously. To investigate the role of PCSK9 in atherogenesis, we deleted Pcsk9 gene from LDb mice to generate the triple knockout mice (named LTp, Ldlr-/-Apobec1-/-Pcsk9-/-). In comparison to LDb mice (n=14), the LTp mice (n=8) had significantly decreased levels of cholesterol (387±10 vs. 313±14 mg/dl; p<0.0008) and triglyceride (304±15 vs. 204±2.3 mg/dl; p<0.0002). However, despite their high cholesterol levels at over 300 mg/dl, the atherosclerotic lesions in LTp mice were significantly decreased in comparison to LDb mice (8.8%±3.5 vs. 24%±3.3, p=0.004, n=5 vs. 5). We hypothesized that vascular PCSK9 regulates the development of atherosclerosis. We incubated LDL containing PCSK9 (LDL/PCSK9) on primary aortic endothelial cells (EC) obtained from LDb or LTp to study the effects of LDL/PCSK9 on inflammation. We show that LDL/PCSK9 could not induce the expressions of Lox-1, TLR-2, or ICAM-1 in EC from LTp, resulting in absence responses on proinflammatory markers (CCL2 and CCL7) and autophagic molecules (p62 and TRAF6). In conclusion, our results suggest that vascular PCSK9 play an essential role in atherogenesis.
Author Disclosures: H. Sun: None. M. Tan: None. B. Teng: Research Grant; Modest; NIH.
This research has received full or partial funding support from the American Heart Association.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.