Potentiation by hypercholesterolemia of the induction of aortic intramural synthesis of plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 by endothelial injury.
Accumulation of plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) in the arterial wall may accelerate atherogenesis by inhibiting fibrinolysis, diminishing proteolysis of extracellular matrix proteins, or modifying migration of vascular smooth muscle cells. Increased intramural expression of the PAI-1 gene is induced by thrombosis. To determine whether it occurs also in response to a sustained mechanical insult to endothelium, hypercholesterolemia, or both, rabbits were subjected to sustained aortic injury induced by implantation of indwelling polyethylene tubing, to hyperlipidemia induced by cholesterol and peanut oil feeding over a period of 8 weeks, or both. Sustained vascular injury alone did not increase plasma PAI-1. However, hypercholesterolemia with or without mechanically induced vascular injury increased plasma PAI-1 twofold. The expression of PAI-1 mRNA in aorta (Northern blots) was significantly increased when vascular injury was combined with hyperlipidemia. In situ hybridization showed that the increase with mechanical injury alone occurred in endothelial cells covering the neointima (positive for factor VIII and thrombomodulin), in abnormally differentiated vascular smooth muscle cells (positive for embryonic myosin heavy chain), and in macrophages (positive for the RAM-11 anti-macrophage antibody). Qualitatively similar but much more marked increases in PAI-1 gene expression were seen when arterial injury was accompanied by hypercholesterolemia. Neither vitronectin, known to stabilize PAI-1, nor vitronectin mRNA increased in liver. However, immunocytochemistry and Western blots demonstrated marked aortic accumulation of vitronectin protein with hyperlipidemia, particularly in subendothelial fibrotic regions, accompanied by increased neointimal vitronectin mRNA as shown by in situ hybridization. These results suggest that increased synthesis and stabilization of vascular PAI-1 may potentiate accumulation of extracellular matrix, thereby accelerating atherosclerosis.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association