Rationale: NR4A1 (Nur77) is a nuclear receptor that is expressed in macrophages and within atherosclerotic lesions, yet its function in atherosclerosis is unknown. Objective: Nur77 regulates the development of monocytes, particularly patrolling Ly6C -/- monocytes that may be involved in resolution of inflammation. We sought to determine how absence of nuclear receptor subfamily 4, group A, member 1 (NR4A1) in hematopoietic cells affected atherosclerosis development. Methods and Results: Nur77 -/- chimeric mice on a Ldlr -/- background showed a 3-fold increase in atherosclerosis development when fed a Western diet for 20 weeks, despite having a drastic reduction in Ly6C -/- patrolling monocytes. In a second model, mice deficient in both Nur77 and ApoE (ApoE -/-Nur77 -/-) also showed increased atherosclerosis after 11 weeks of Western diet. Atherosclerosis was associated with a significant change in macrophage polarization toward a proinflammatory phenotype, with high expression of tumor necrosis factor-α and nitric oxide and low expression of Arginase-I. Moreover, we found increased expression of toll-like receptor 4 mRNA and protein in Nur77 -/- macrophages as well as increased phosphorylation of the p65 subunit of NFκB. Inhibition of NFκB activity blocked excess activation of Nur77 -/- macrophages. Conclusions: We conclude that the absence of Nur77 -/- in monocytes and macrophages results in enhanced toll-like receptor signaling and polarization of macrophages toward a proinflammatory M1 phenotype. Despite having fewer monocytes, Nur77 mice developed significant atherosclerosis when fed a Western diet. These studies indicate that Nur77 is a novel target for modulating the inflammatory phenotype of monocytes and macrophages and may be important for regulation of atherogenesis.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|State||Published - Feb 3 2012|
- nuclear receptors
- toll-like receptors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine