Rationale: Activation of monocytes/macrophages by hyperlipidemia associated with diabetes mellitus and obesity contributes to the development of atherosclerosis. PKCδ (protein kinase C δ) expression and activity in monocytes were increased by hyperlipidemia and diabetes mellitus with unknown consequences to atherosclerosis. Objective: To investigate the effect of PKCδ activation in macrophages on the severity of atherosclerosis. Methods and Results: PKCδ expression and activity were increased in Zucker diabetic rats. Mice with selective deletion of PKCδ in macrophages were generated by breeding PKCδ flox/fox mice with LyzM-Cre and ApoE-/-mice (MPKCδKO/ApoE-/- mice) and studied in atherogenic (AD) and high-fat diet (HFD). Mice fed AD and HFD exhibited hyperlipidemia, but only HFD-fed mice had insulin resistance and mild diabetes mellitus. Surprisingly, MPKCδKO/ApoE-/- mice exhibited accelerated aortic atherosclerotic lesions by 2-fold versus ApoE-/- mice on AD or HFD. Splenomegaly was observed in MPKCδKO/ApoE-/- mice on AD and HFD but not on regular chow. Both the AD or HFD increased macrophage number in aortic plaques and spleen by 1.7- and 2-fold, respectively, in MPKCδKO/ApoE-/- versus ApoE-/- mice because of decreased apoptosis (62%) and increased proliferation (1.9-fold), and not because of uptake, with parallel increased expressions of inflammatory cytokines. Mechanisms for the increased macrophages in MPKCδKO/ApoE-/- were associated with elevated phosphorylation levels of prosurvival cell-signaling proteins, Akt and FoxO3a, with reduction of proapoptotic protein Bim associated with PKCδ induced inhibition of P85/PI3K. Conclusions: Accelerated development of atherosclerosis induced by insulin resistance and hyperlipidemia may be partially limited by PKCδ isoform activation in the monocytes, which decreased its number and inflammatory responses in the arterial wall.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine