Objective: Macrophages are key players in atherosclerotic lesion formation and progression. We have recently demonstrated that lipid-loaded macrophages show activation of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway. Methods: To test the invivo role of the canonical Wnt pathway in atherosclerosis we used mice deficient in the Wnt signaling receptor LRP5 (LRP5-/-) fed a hypercholesterolemic diet (HC) to induce atherosclerosis. These dietary groups were further subdivided into two subgroups receiving their respective diets supplemented with 2% plant sterol esters (PSE). All mice remained on their assigned diets until age 18 weeks. Results: HC WT mice had mildly increased non-HDL cholesterol levels, developed aortic atherosclerotic lesions and showed upregulated expression levels of aortic Lrp5. HC LRP5-/- mice develop larger aortic atherosclerotic lesions than WT mice indicating that LRP5 has a protective function in atherosclerosis progression. The oral administration of PSE, a dietary cholesterol-lowering agent, had an effect in the expression levels of the Wnt signaling receptor and in atherosclerosis progression. We found that PSE reduced serum total cholesterol levels, abolished HC-induced LRP5 overexpression and reduced aortic atherosclerotic plaques. Conclusion: The proatherogenic effects of the excess of plasma lipids are in part mediated by modulation of LRP5 in the aorta. LRP5 and canonical Wnt signaling exert a protective defense mechanism against hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis lesion progression.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - Aug 2014|
- Plant sterol esters
- Wnt pathway
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine