Induction of atherosclerotic plaque rupture in apolipoprotein E-/- mice after adenovirus-mediated transfer of p53
von der Thüsen, J.H.
van Vlijmen, B.J.M.
van Berkel, T.J.C.
Background - The presence of the tumor-suppressor gene p53 in advanced atherosclerotic plaques and the sensitivity to p53-induced cell death of smooth muscle cells isolated from these plaques have fueled speculation about the role of p53 in lesion destabilization and plaque rupture. In this study, we describe a strategy to promote (thrombotic) rupture of preexisting atherosclerotic lesions using p53-induced lesion remodeling. Methods and Results - Carotid atherogenesis was initiated in apolipoprotein E knockout mice by placement of a perivascular silastic collar. The resulting plaques were incubated transluminally with recombinant adenovirus carrying either a p53 or β-galactosidase (lacZ) transgene. p53 transfection was restricted to the smooth muscle cell-rich cap of the plaque and led to an increase in cap cell apoptosis 1 day after transfer. p53 overexpression resulted in a marked decrease in the cellular and extracellular content of the cap, reflected by a markedly reduced cap/intima ratio (0.21±0.04 versus 0.46±0.03, P<0.001). The latter is a characteristic feature of plaque vulnerability to rupture, and whereas spontaneous rupture of p53-treated lesions was rare, it was found in 40% of cases after treatment with the vasopressor compound phenylephrine (P=0.003). Conclusions - We have demonstrated a potential role of p53-induced remodeling in atherosclerotic plaque destabilization. Being the first example of inducible rupture at a predefined location, this model offers a unique opportunity to delineate the processes that precede rupture and to evaluate plaque- stabilizing therapies. Chemicals/CAS: Apolipoproteins E; beta-Galactosidase, EC 18.104.22.168; Biological Markers; Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
To reference this document use:
Smooth muscle fiber
Tumor suppressor gene
Carotid Artery Diseases
Muscle, Smooth, Vascular
Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
Circulation, 105 (17), 2064-2070