Myeloid Deletion of Nuclear Factor Erythroid 2–Related Factor 2 (Nrf2) Increases Atherosclerosis and Liver Injury
Objective—To determine the impact of hematopoietic deletion of nuclear factor− (erythroid-derived 2) like 2 factor (Nrf2) on the development of atherosclerosis and liver injury in an obese, hypercholesterolemic mouse model.
Methods and Results—Two-month-old male low-density lipoprotein receptor–deficient mice were lethally irradiated and transplanted with either wild type or Nrf2-deficient (Nrf2−/−) bone marrow cells. At 3 months of age, mice were placed on an obesogenic high-fat diet (HFD), high-cholesterol diet for 7 months. Despite no differences in body weight, body fat percentage, liver fat, plasma glucose, lipids, or insulin, the HFD-fed Nrf2−/− bone marrow recipients had increased proinflammatory vascular gene expression, a significant increase in atherosclerosis area (18% versus 28%; P=0.018) and lesion complexity, and a marked increase in liver fibrosis. The acceleration of vascular and liver injury may arise from enhanced macrophage migration, inflammation, and oxidative stress resulting from myeloid Nrf2 deficiency.
Conclusion—Myeloid-derived Nrf2 activity attenuates atherosclerosis development and liver inflammation and fibrosis associated with obesity. Prevention of oxidative stress in macrophage and other myeloid lineage cells may be an important therapeutic target to reduce inflammation-driven complications of obesity.
- nuclear factor– (erythroid-derived 2) like-2 factor
- oxidative stress
- diabetes mellitus
- Received November 11, 2011.
- Accepted September 7, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.