ERV1/ChemR23 Signaling Protects Against Atherosclerosis by Modifying Oxidized Low-Density Lipoprotein Uptake and Phagocytosis in Macrophages

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Abstract

Background:

In addition to enhanced proinflammatory signaling, impaired resolution of vascular inflammation plays a key role in atherosclerosis. Proresolving lipid mediators formed through the 12/15 lipoxygenase pathways exert protective effects against murine atherosclerosis. n-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), serve as the substrate for the formation of lipid mediators, which transduce potent anti-inflammatory and proresolving actions through their cognate G-protein–coupled receptors. The aim of this study was to identify signaling pathways associated with EPA supplementation and lipid mediator formation that mediate atherosclerotic disease progression.

Methods:

Lipidomic plasma analysis were performed after EPA supplementation in Apoe−/− mice. Erv1/Chemr23−/−xApoe−/− mice were generated for the evaluation of atherosclerosis, phagocytosis, and oxidized low-density lipoprotein uptake. Histological and mRNA analyses were done on human atherosclerotic lesions.

Results:

Here, we show that EPA supplementation significantly attenuated atherosclerotic lesion growth induced by Western diet in Apoe−/− mice and was associated with local cardiovascular n-3 enrichment and altered lipoprotein metabolism. Our systematic plasma lipidomic analysis identified the resolvin E1 precursor 18-monohydroxy EPA as a central molecule formed during EPA supplementation. Targeted deletion of the resolvin E1 receptor Erv1/Chemr23 in 2 independent hyperlipidemic murine models was associated with proatherogenic signaling in macrophages, increased oxidized low-density lipoprotein uptake, reduced phagocytosis, and increased atherosclerotic plaque size and necrotic core formation. We also demonstrate that in macrophages the resolvin E1–mediated effects in oxidized low-density lipoprotein uptake and phagocytosis were dependent on Erv1/Chemr23. When analyzing human atherosclerotic specimens, we identified ERV1/ChemR23 expression in a population of macrophages located in the proximity of the necrotic core and demonstrated augmented ERV1/ChemR23 mRNA levels in plaques derived from statin users.

Conclusions:

This study identifies 18-monohydroxy EPA as a major plasma marker after EPA supplementation and demonstrates that the ERV1/ChemR23 receptor for its downstream mediator resolvin E1 transduces protective effects in atherosclerosis. ERV1/ChemR23 signaling may represent a previously unrecognized therapeutic pathway to reduce atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

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