NADPH Oxidase-2 and AtherothrombosisHighlights
Insight From Chronic Granulomatous Disease
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The phagocytic cell enzyme NADPH oxidase-2 (Nox2) is critical for killing micro-organisms via production of reactive oxygen species and thus is a key element of the innate immune system. Nox2 is also detectable in endothelial cells and platelets where it has vasoconstrictive and aggregating properties, respectively. Patients with X-linked chronic granulomatous disease with hereditary Nox2 deficiency not only have impaired bacterial killing but, in association with loss of Nox2 function, also have enhanced carotid artery dilation, impaired platelet-related thrombosis, and reduced carotid atherosclerotic burden. Experimental studies corroborated these reports in chronic granulomatous disease by demonstrating (1) Nox2 is upregulated in atherosclerotic plaque, and this upregulation significantly correlates with oxidative stress and (2) pharmacological inhibition of Nox2 is associated with a delayed atherosclerotic progression in animal models. Furthermore, the role of Nox2 in platelet-associated thrombosis was substantiated by experiments showing impaired platelet activation in animals treated with a Nox2 inhibitor or impaired platelet aggregation along with reduced platelet-related thrombosis in the mouse knockout model of Nox2. Interestingly, in chronic granulomatous disease patients and in the mouse knockout model of Nox2, no defects of primary hemostasis were detected. This review analyses experimental and clinical data suggesting Nox2 is a potential target for counteracting the atherothrombotic process.
- Received August 25, 2016.
- Accepted November 28, 2016.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.