Macrophage Activation by Heparanase Is Mediated by TLR-2 and TLR-4 and Associates With Plaque Progression
Objective—Factors and mechanisms that activate macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques are incompletely understood. We examined the capacity of heparanase to activate macrophages.
Results and Methods—Highly purified heparanase was added to mouse peritoneal macrophages and macrophage-like J774 cells, and the levels of tumor necrosis factor-α, matrix metalloproteinase-9, interlukin-1, and MCP-1 were evaluated by ELISA. Gene expression was determined by RT-PCR. Cells collected from Toll-like receptor-2 and Toll-like receptor-4 knockout mice were evaluated similarly. Heparanase levels in the plasma of patients with acute myocardial infarction, stable angina, and healthy subjects were determined by ELISA. Immunohistochemistry was applied to detect the expression of heparanase in control specimens and specimens of patients with stable angina or acute myocardial infarction. Addition or overexpression of heparanase variants resulted in marked increase in tumor necrosis factor-α, matrix metalloproteinase-9, interlukin-1, and MCP-1 levels. Mouse peritoneal macrophages harvested from Toll-like receptor-2 or Toll-like receptor-4 knockout mice were not activated by heparanase. Plasma heparanase level was higher in patients with acute myocardial infarction, compared with patients with stable angina and healthy subjects. Pathologic coronary specimens obtained from vulnerable plaques showed increased heparanase staining compared with specimens of stable plaque and controls.
Conclusion—Heparanase activates macrophages, resulting in marked induction of cytokine expression associated with plaque progression toward vulnerability.
- Received January 22, 2012.
- Accepted November 1, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.