Author(s): Nachtigal M, Ghaffar A, Mayer EP
Abstract Share this page
Abstract This study has examined the role of galectin-3 (GaL3), a multicompartmented N-acetyllactosamine-binding chimeric lectin, on atherogenesis in the ApoE-deficient mouse model of atherosclerosis. Pathological changes consisting of atheromatous plaques, atherosclerotic microaneurysms extending into periaortic vascular channels, and adventitial and periaortic inflammatory infiltrates were assessed in an equal number (n = 36) of apolipoprotein (Apo)E-deficient mice and ApoE-GaL3 double-knockout mice. These mice were divided into three age groups, 21 to 23 weeks, 25 to 31 weeks, and 36 to 44 weeks of age. Results of this morphological analysis have shown an age-related increase in the incidence of aorta atheromatous plaques and periaortic vascular channels in ApoE-deficient mice. By contrast ApoE/GaL3 double-knockout mice did not show an increase in pathological changes with age. The 36- to 44-week group of ApoE(-/-)/GaL3(-/-) mice had a significantly lower number of atherosclerotic lesions (P < 0.004) and fewer atheromatous plaques (P < 0.008) when compared with ApoE(-/-)/GaL3+/+ mice of the same age. ApoE(-/-)/GaL3(-/-) mice had a lower number of perivascular inflammatory infiltrates and mast cells than those found in ApoE(-/-)/GaL3+/+ mice. The reduced number of perivascular mast cells may have resulted in a low level of interleukin-4 that contributed to the reduction in the morphological parameters of atherogenesis correlated with the lack of GaL3 expression. The effect of GaL3 deficiency on atherogenesis decrease could be related to its function as a multifunctional protein implicated in macrophage chemotaxis, angiogenesis, lipid loading, and inflammation.
This article was published in Am J Pathol
and referenced in