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Abstract

Cardiotrophin-1 (CT-1) is associated with cardiovascular (CV) diseases. We investigated the effect of CT-1 deficiency in the development and progression of atherosclerosis in double knockout Apoe(-/-)ct-1(-/-) mice. Apoe(-/-) C57Bl/6 or Apoe(-/-)ct-1(-/-) C57Bl/6 mice were fed a normal chow diet (NCD) or a high-cholesterol diet (HCD). After sacrifice, serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), free fatty acids and systemic paracrine factors were measured. Intraplaque lipid and collagen content were quantified in the aortic sections. Immune cell populations in spleen, lymph nodes and aorta were analysis by flow cytometry. Apoe(-/-)ct-1(-/-) mice in accelerated atherosclerosis exhibited a reduction of total cholesterol, LDL-C, atherosclerotic plaques size in the aortic root and in the abdominal aorta and improved plaque stability in comparison to Apoe(-/-) mice. CT-1 deficiency in Apoe(-/-) mice on (HCD) promoted atheroprotective immune cell responses, as demonstrated by a rise in plasma anti-inflammatory immune cell populations (regulatory T cells, Tregs; regulatory B cells, Bregs and B1a cells) and atheroprotective IgM antibodies. CT-1 deficiency in advanced atherosclerosis mediated regulation of paracrine factors, such as interleukin (IL)-3, IL-6, IL-9, IL-15, IL-27, CXCL5, MCP-3, MIP-1 alpha and MIP-1 beta. In a model of advanced atherosclerosis, CT-1 deficiency induced anti-inflammatory and atheroprotective effects which resulted in abrogation of atheroprogression.

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