Endothelial LOX-1 activation differentially regulates arterial thrombus formation depending on oxLDL levels: role of the Oct-1/SIRT1 and ERK1/2 pathways

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The lectin-like oxLDL receptor-1 (LOX-1) promotes endothelial uptake of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) and plays an important role in atherosclerosis and acute coronary syndromes (ACS). However, its role in arterial thrombus formation remains unknown. We investigated whether LOX-1 plays a role in arterial thrombus formation in vivo at different levels of oxLDL using endothelial-specific LOX-1 transgenic mice (LOX-1TG) and a photochemical injury thrombosis model of the carotid artery.

Methods and results

In mice fed a normal chow diet, time to arterial occlusion was unexpectedly prolonged in LOX-1TG as compared to WT. In line with this, tissue factor (TF) expression and activity in carotid arteries of LOX-1TG mice were reduced by half. This effect was mediated by activation of octamer transcription factor 1 (Oct-1) leading to upregulation of the mammalian deacetylase silent information regulator-two 1 (SIRT1) via binding to its promoter and subsequent inhibition of NF-κB signaling. In contrast, intravenous injection of oxLDL as well as high cholesterol diet for 6 weeks led to a switch from the Oct-1/SIRT1 signal transduction pathway to the ERK1/2 pathway and in turn to an enhanced thrombotic response with shortened occlusion time.


Thus, LOX-1 differentially regulates thrombus formation in vivo depending on the degree of activation by oxLDL. At low oxLDL levels LOX-1 activates the protective Oct-1/SIRT1 pathway, while at higher levels of the lipoprotein switches to the thrombogenic ERK1/2 pathway. These findings may be important for arterial thrombus formation in ACS and suggest that SIRT1 may represent a novel therapeutic target in this context.

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