10.1161/ATVBAHA.119.313775 ">

Drug targeting of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 inhibits metabolic dysfunction and atherosclerosis in a murine model of metabolic syndrome

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Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology


© 2020 American Medical Association. All rights reserved. Objective: Enhanced expression of PAI-1 (plasminogen activator inhibitor-1) has been implicated in atherosclerosis formation in humans with obesity and metabolic syndrome. However, little is known about the effects of pharmacological targeting of PAI-1 on atherogenesis. This study examined the effects of pharmacological PAI-1 inhibition on atherosclerosis formation in a murine model of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Approach and Results: LDL receptor-deficient (ldlr-/-) mice were fed a Western diet high in cholesterol, fat, and sucrose to induce obesity, metabolic dysfunction, and atherosclerosis. Western diet triggered significant upregulation of PAI-1 expression compared with normal diet controls. Addition of a pharmacological PAI-1 inhibitor (either PAI-039 or MDI-2268) to Western diet significantly inhibited obesity and atherosclerosis formation for up to 24 weeks without attenuating food consumption. Pharmacological PAI-1 inhibition significantly decreased macrophage accumulation and cell senescence in atherosclerotic plaques. Recombinant PAI-1 stimulated smooth muscle cell senescence, whereas a PAI-1 mutant defective in LRP1 (LDL receptor-related protein 1) binding did not. The prosenescent effect of PAI-1 was blocked by PAI-039 and R2629, a specific anti-LRP1 antibody. PAI-039 significantly decreased visceral adipose tissue inflammation, hyperglycemia, and hepatic triglyceride content without altering plasma lipid profiles. Conclusions: Pharmacological targeting of PAI-1 inhibits atherosclerosis in mice with obesity and metabolic syndrome, while inhibiting macrophage accumulation and cell senescence in atherosclerotic plaques, as well as obesity-associated metabolic dysfunction. PAI-1 induces senescence of smooth muscle cells in an LRP1-dependent manner. These results help to define the role of PAI-1 in atherosclerosis formation and suggest a new plasma-lipid-independent strategy for inhibiting atherogenesis.

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