Author(s): Wong ML, Xie B, Beatini N, Phu P, Marathe S,
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Abstract Inflammation plays a critical role in atherogenesis, yet the mediators linking inflammation to specific atherogenic processes remain to be elucidated. One such mediator may be secretory sphingomyelinase (S-SMase), a product of the acid sphingomyelinase gene. The secretion of S-SMase by cultured endothelial cells is induced by inflammatory cytokines, and in vivo data have implicated S-SMase in subendothelial lipoprotein aggregation, macrophage foam cell formation, and possibly other atherogenic processes. Thus, the goal of this study was to seek evidence for S-SMase regulation in vivo during a physiologically relevant inflammatory response. First, wild-type mice were injected with saline or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) as a model of acute systemic inflammation. Serum S-SMase activity 3 h postinjection was increased 2- to 2.5-fold by LPS (P < 0.01). To determine the role of IL-1 in the LPS response, we used IL-1 converting enzyme knockout mice, which exhibit deficient IL-1 bioactivity. The level of serum S-SMase activity in LPS-injected IL-1 converting enzyme knockout mice was approximately 35\% less than that in identically treated wild-type mice (P < 0.01). In LPS-injected IL-1-receptor antagonist knockout mice, which have an enhanced response to IL-1, serum S-SMase activity was increased 1. 8-fold compared with LPS-injected wild-type mice (P < 0.01). Finally, when wild-type mice were injected directly with IL-1beta, tumor necrosis factor alpha, or both, serum S-SMase activity increased 1. 6-, 2.3-, and 2.9-fold, respectively (P < 0.01). These data show regulation of S-SMase activity in vivo and they raise the possibility that local stimulation of S-SMase may contribute to the effects of inflammatory cytokines in atherosclerosis.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine