The water channel AQP1 is expressed in human atherosclerotic vascular lesions and AQP1 deficiency augments angiotensin II-induced atherosclerosis in mice

P. Wintmo, Søren Høyer Johansen, P. B L Hansen, J. S. Lindholt, Sigitas Urbonavicius, Lars Melholt Rasmussen, P. Bie, B. L. Jensen, J. Stubbe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Aim: The water channel aquaporin 1 (AQP1) promotes endothelial cell migration. It was hypothesized that AQP1 promotes neovascularization and growth of atherosclerotic plaques. Methods: AQP1 immunoreactivity and protein abundance was examined in human and murine atherosclerotic lesions and aortic aneurysms. Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) knockout (-/-) and AQP1-/-ApoE-/- mice were developed and fed Western diet (WD) for 8 and 16 weeks to accelerate the atherosclerosis process. In ApoE-/- and AQP1-/-ApoE-/- mice abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) were induced by angiotensin II (ANGII) infusion by osmotic minipumps for 4 weeks. Results: In human atherosclerotic lesions and AAA, AQP1 immunoreactive protein was associated with intralesional small vessels. In ApoE-/- mouse aorta, APQ1 mRNA levels were increased with time on WD (n = 7-9, P < 0.003). Both in murine lesions at the aortic root and in the abdominal aortic aneurysmal wall, AQP1 immunoreactivity was associated with microvascular structures. The atherosclerotic lesion burden was enhanced significantly in ANGII-infused AQP1-/-ApoE-/- mice compared with ApoE-/- mice, but neither incidence nor progression of AAA was different. The aortic lesion burden increased with time on WD but was not different between ApoE-/- and AQP1-/-ApoE-/- mice at either 8 or 16 weeks (n = 13-15). Baseline blood pressure and ANGII-induced hypertension were not different between genotypes. Conclusion: AQP1 is expressed in atherosclerotic lesion neovasculature in human and mouse arteries and AQP1 deficiency augments lesion development in ANGII-promoted atherosclerosis in mice. Normal function of AQP1 affords cardiovascular protection.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Physiologica
Volume220
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)446–460
ISSN1748-1708
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

Keywords

  • Aneurysm
  • Aorta
  • ApoE-/-
  • Hypertension
  • Lipid
  • Plaque
  • Coronary Artery Disease/metabolism
  • Angiotensin II/toxicity
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents/toxicity
  • Humans
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal/metabolism
  • Aquaporin 1/biosynthesis
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Animals
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic/metabolism
  • Female
  • Mice

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