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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(6), 1732;

Anti-Atherogenic Effects of Vaspin on Human Aortic Smooth Muscle Cell/Macrophage Responses and Hyperlipidemic Mouse Plaque Phenotype

Laboratory of Cardiovascular Medicine, Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, Tokyo 192-0392, Japan
Department of Medicine, Division of Diabetes, Metabolism, and Endocrinology, Showa University School of Medicine, Tokyo 142-8666, Japan
Department of Legal Medicine, Showa University School of Medicine, Tokyo 142-8555, Japan
Department of Pathology, National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, Osaka 565-8565, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 April 2018 / Revised: 6 June 2018 / Accepted: 6 June 2018 / Published: 11 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathomechanisms of Atherosclerosis)
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Vaspin (visceral adipose tissue-derived serine protease inhibitor) was recently identified as a novel adipocytokine with insulin-sensitizing effects. Serum vaspin levels are reported either increased or decreased in patients with coronary artery disease. Our translational research was performed to evaluate the expression of vaspin in human coronary atherosclerotic lesions, and its effects on atherogenic responses in human macrophages and human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMC), as well as aortic atherosclerotic lesion development in spontaneously hyperlipidemic Apoe−/− mice, an animal model of atherosclerosis. Vaspin was expressed at high levels in macrophages/vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) within human coronary atheromatous plaques. Vaspin significantly suppressed inflammatory phenotypes with nuclear factor κB down-regulation in human macrophages. Vaspin significantly suppressed oxidized low-density lipoprotein-induced foam cell formation with CD36 and acyl-coenzyme A: cholesterol acyltransferase-1 down-regulation and ATP-binding cassette transporters A1 and G1, and scavenger receptor class B type 1 up-regulation in human macrophages. Vaspin significantly suppressed angiotensin II-induced migration and proliferation with ERK1/2 and JNK down-regulation, and increased collagen production with phosphoinositide 3-kinase and Akt up-regulation in HASMCs. Chronic infusion of vaspin into Apoe−/− mice significantly suppressed the development of aortic atherosclerotic lesions, with significant reductions of intraplaque inflammation and the macrophage/VSMC ratio, a marker of plaque instability. Our study indicates that vaspin prevents atherosclerotic plaque formation and instability, and may serve as a novel therapeutic target in atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: vaspin; atherosclerosis; macrophage; vascular smooth muscle cell; Apoe−/− mice vaspin; atherosclerosis; macrophage; vascular smooth muscle cell; Apoe−/− mice

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Sato, K.; Shirai, R.; Yamaguchi, M.; Yamashita, T.; Shibata, K.; Okano, T.; Mori, Y.; Matsuyama, T.-A.; Ishibashi-Ueda, H.; Hirano, T.; Watanabe, T. Anti-Atherogenic Effects of Vaspin on Human Aortic Smooth Muscle Cell/Macrophage Responses and Hyperlipidemic Mouse Plaque Phenotype. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 1732.

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