Peptidylarginine Deiminase Inhibition Reduces Vascular Damage and Modulates Innate Immune Responses in Murine Models of Atherosclerosis
Rationale: Neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation promotes vascular damage, thrombosis, and activation of interferon-α-producing plasmacytoid dendritic cells in diseased arteries. Peptidylarginine deiminase (PAD) inhibition is a strategy that can decrease in vivo NET formation.
Objective: To test whether PAD inhibition, a novel approach to targeting arterial disease, can reduce vascular damage and inhibit innate immune responses in murine models of atherosclerosis.
Methods and Results: Apolipoprotein-E (Apoe)-/- mice demonstrated enhanced NET formation, developed autoantibodies to NETs, and expressed high levels of interferon-α in diseased arteries. Apoe-/- mice were treated for 11 weeks with daily injections of Cl-amidine, a PAD inhibitor. PAD inhibition blocked NET formation, reduced atherosclerotic lesion area, and delayed time to carotid artery thrombosis in a photochemical injury model. Decreases in atherosclerosis burden were accompanied by reduced recruitment of netting neutrophils and macrophages to arteries, as well as by reduced arterial interferon-α expression.
Conclusions: Pharmacologic interventions that block NET formation can reduce atherosclerosis burden and arterial thrombosis in murine systems. These results support a role for aberrant NET formation in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis through modulation of innate immune responses.
- peptidylarginine deiminase
- neutrophil extracellular trap
- interferon alpha
- polymorphonuclear neutrophils activation
- Received December 23, 2013.
- Revision received January 7, 2014.
- Accepted January 13, 2014.