Author(s): Ovchinnikova O, Gylfe A, Bailey L, Nordstrm A, Rudling M,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Osteoprotegerin (OPG) is a tumor necrosis factor receptor-related cytokine, initially found to inhibit osteoclastogenesis. In the present study we investigated the effect of OPG treatment on atherosclerosis. METHODS AND RESULTS: Hypercholesterolemic apoe(-/-) mice were treated with recombinant 15 mg/kg OPG or vehicle injections twice a week for 10 consecutive weeks. Mice treated with OPG showed increased amounts of smooth muscle cells and collagen within the atherosclerotic lesions. OPG treatment did not affect atherosclerotic lesion size (8.2\% versus 7.6\%) or total vessel area but led to a 250\% increase in lesion collagen, formation of mature collagen fibers in subendothelial fibrous caps, and upregulated mRNA for lysyl oxidase that promotes collagen crosslinking. In cell culture studies, OPG promoted cell proliferation in rat aortic smooth muscle cells. In contrast, OPG treatment did not affect markers of vascular or systemic inflammation. CONCLUSIONS: OPG treatment promotes smooth muscle accumulation, collagen fiber formation, and development of fibrous caps but does not affect inflammatory properties of atherosclerotic lesions. Its effects may contribute to plaque stabilization.
This article was published in Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol
and referenced in Metabolomics:Open Access