Hypercholesterolemia is an atherosclerotic condition that is associated with impaired neovascularization in response to ischemia. This study sought to define the role of microRNAs in that pathophysiology.Approach and Results—
Next-generation sequencing and quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analyses identified miR-150 as a proangiogenic microRNA, which expression is significantly reduced in the ischemic muscles of hypercholesterolemic apolipoprotein E–deficient (ApoE−/−) mice, and in human umbilical vein endothelial cells exposed to oxidized low-density lipoprotein. Forced expression of miR-150 using a miR mimic could rescue oxidized low-density lipoprotein–mediated impairment of endothelial cell migration and tubule formation in vitro. In a mouse model of hindlimb ischemia, intramuscular injection of miR-150 mimic restored blood flow recuperation, vascular densities in ischemic muscles, and functional mobility in ApoE−/− mice. Treatment of ApoE−/− mice with miR-150 also increased the number and the activities of proangiogenic cells. miR-150 targets SRC kinase signaling inhibitor 1, an important regulator of Src (proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase Src) activity. Here we found that hypercholesterolemia and oxidized low-density lipoprotein exposure are associated with increased SRC kinase signaling inhibitor 1 expression and decreased Src activity. However, treatment with miR-150 mimic reduces SRC kinase signaling inhibitor 1 expression and restores Src and downstream endothelial nitric oxide synthase and Akt (protein kinase B) activities both in vitro and in vivo. We also demonstrate the interrelation between miR-150 and SRC kinase signaling inhibitor 1 and their importance for endothelial cell angiogenic activities.Conclusions—
Hypercholesterolemia is associated with reduced expression of miR-150, impaired Src signaling, and inefficient neovascularization in response to ischemia. Forced expression of miR-150 using a miR mimic could constitute a novel therapeutic strategy to improve ischemia-induced neovascularization in atherosclerotic conditions.