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Keywords:

  • atherosclerosis;
  • chemokine;
  • mobilization;
  • monocyte;
  • recruitment

Abstract

We used a novel approach of cytostatically induced leucocyte depletion and subsequent reconstitution with leucocytes deprived of classical (inflammatory/Gr1hi) or non-classical (resident/Gr1lo) monocytes to dissect their differential role in atheroprogression under high-fat diet (HFD). Apolipoprotein E-deficient (Apoe−/−) mice lacking classical but not non-classical monocytes displayed reduced lesion size and macrophage and apoptotic cell content. Conversely, HFD induced a selective expansion of classical monocytes in blood and bone marrow. Increased CXCL1 levels accompanied by higher expression of its receptor CXCR2 on classical monocytes and inhibition of monocytosis by CXCL1-neutralization indicated a preferential role for the CXCL1/CXCR2 axis in mobilizing classical monocytes during hypercholesterolemia. Studies correlating circulating and lesional classical monocytes in gene-deficient Apoe−/− mice, adoptive transfer of gene-deficient cells and pharmacological modulation during intravital microscopy of the carotid artery revealed a crucial function of CCR1 and CCR5 but not CCR2 or CX3CR1 in classical monocyte recruitment to atherosclerotic vessels. Collectively, these data establish the impact of classical monocytes on atheroprogression, identify a sequential role of CXCL1 in their mobilization and CCR1/CCR5 in their recruitment.