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  • Neutrophils recruited by leukotriene B4 induce features of plaque destabilization during endotoxaemia.

Neutrophils recruited by leukotriene B4 induce features of plaque destabilization during endotoxaemia.

Cardiovascular research (2018-05-26)
Marie-Anne Mawhin, Peggy Tilly, Gaia Zirka, Anne-Laure Charles, Farid Slimani, Jean-Luc Vonesch, Jean-Baptiste Michel, Magnus Bäck, Xavier Norel, Jean-Etienne Fabre

Both leukotrienes and neutrophils have been linked to plaque destabilization. Despite being evoked, the role of leukotriene B4 (LTB4) in neutrophil recruitment to plaques and the concomitant effects of these two actors on plaque stability remain to be proven. Since both actors are elicited during endotoxaemia, a condition associated with the risk of cardiovascular events, we investigated whether endotoxaemia promotes LTB4-mediated neutrophil infiltration in plaques and explored the roles of LTB4 and neutrophils in plaque destabilization. Endotoxaemia induced by repeated peritoneal endotoxin injections at a non-lethal dose (1.5 mg/kg, 5 days) in chow-fed aged Apoe-/- mice (over 45 weeks old) resulted in neutrophil infiltration and activation in plaques. Subsequently to neutrophil invasion, plaques exhibited increased features of vulnerability: reduced collagen content, expanded necrotic cores, and thinned fibrous caps. These plaque features were reproduced by direct deposition of isolated neutrophils onto murine atheromatous carotid arteries in an in vivo assay. In endotoxemic mice, plaques produced increased amounts of LTB4. Genomic or pharmacological impairments of this production reduced neutrophil infiltration, collagenolysis, and apoptosis of smooth muscle cells in plaques of endotoxemic mice. Furthermore, conditioned media of human culprit plaques (CPs) contained more LTB4 than non-CPs and levels of LTB4 correlated to both neutrophil activation markers and endotoxin releases in CPs. These results show that the increased neutrophil recruitment elicited by LTB4 contributes to increase features of plaque destabilization in endotoxemic contexts and point out LTB4 as a potential therapeutic target in atherosclerosis.

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Lipopolysaccharides from Escherichia coli O26:B6, ≥10,000 EU/mg, purified by phenol extraction