Author(s): AlAly Z, Shao JS, Lai CF, Huang E, Cai J,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Aortic calcification is prevalent in type II diabetes (T2DM), enhancing morbidity and tracking metabolic syndrome parameters. Ldlr(-/-) mice fed high-fat "Westernized" diets (HFD) accumulate aortic calcium primarily in the tunica media, mediated via osteogenic morphogens and transcriptional programs that induce aortic alkaline phosphatase (ALP). Because elevated TNF-alpha is characteristic of obesity with T2DM, we examined contributions of this inflammatory cytokine. METHODS AND RESULTS: HFD promoted obesity, hyperglycemia, and hyperlipidemia, and upregulated serum TNF-alpha in Ldlr(-/-) mice. Serum haptoglobin (inflammatory marker) was increased along with aortic expression of BMP2, Msx2, Wnt3a, and Wnt7a. Dosing with the TNF-alpha neutralizing antibody infliximab did not reduce obesity, hypercholesterolemia, or hyperglycemia; however, haptoglobin, aortic BMP2, Msx2, Wnt3a, and Wnt7a and aortic calcium accumulation were downregulated by infliximab. Mice with vascular TNF-alpha augmented by a transgene (SM22-TNFalphaTg) driven from the SM22 promoter upregulated aortic Msx2, Wnt3a, and Wnt7a. Furthermore, SM22-TNFalphaTg;TOPGAL mice exhibited greater aortic beta-galactosidase reporter staining versus TOPGAL sibs, indicating enhanced mural Wnt signaling. In aortic myofibroblast cultures, TNF-alpha upregulated Msx2, Wnt3a, Wnt7a, and ALP. ALP induction was inhibited by Dkk1, an antagonist of paracrine Wnt actions. CONCLUSIONS: TNF-alpha promote aortic Msx2-Wnt programs that contribute to aortic calcium accumulation in T2DM.
This article was published in Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism