Atorvastatin pleiotropically decreases intraplaque angiogenesis and intraplaque haemorrhage by inhibiting ANGPT2 release and VE-Cadherin internalization

Fabiana Baganha, Rob C. M. de Jong, Erna A. Peters, Wietske Voorham, J. Wouter Jukema, Mirela Delibegovic, Margreet R. de Vries, Paul H. A. Quax* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective
Statins pleiotropically provide additional benefits in reducing atherosclerosis, but their effects on intraplaque angiogenesis (IPA) and hemorrhage (IPH) remain unclear. Therefore, we discriminated statin’s lipid-lowering dependent and independent effects on IPA and IPH.

Approach and results
ApoE3*Leiden mice are statin-responsive due to ApoE and LDLR presence, but also allow to titrate plasma cholesterol levels by diet. Therefore, ApoE3*Leiden mice were fed a high-cholesterol-inducing-diet (HCD) with or without atorvastatin (A) or a moderate-cholesterol-inducing-diet (MCD). Mice underwent vein graft surgery to induce lesions with IPA and IPH. Cholesterol levels were significantly reduced in MCD (56%) and HCD + A (39%) compared to HCD with no significant differences between MCD and HCD + A. Both MCD and HCD + A have a similar reduction in vessel remodeling and inflammation comparing to HCD. IPA was significantly decreased by 30% in HCD + A compared to HCD or MCD. Atorvastatin treatment reduced the presence of immature vessels by 34% vs. HCD and by 25% vs. MCD, resulting in a significant reduction of IPH. Atorvastatin’s anti-angiogenic capacity was further illustrated by a dose-dependent reduction of ECs proliferation and migration. Cultured mouse aortic-segments lost sprouting capacity upon atorvastatin treatment and became 30% richer in VE-Cadherin expression and pericyte coverage. Moreover, Atorvastatin inhibited ANGPT2 release and decreased VE-Cadherin(Y685)-phosphorylation in ECs.

Conclusions
Atorvastatin has beneficial effects on vessel remodeling due to its lipid-lowering capacity. Atorvastatin has strong pleiotropic effects on IPA by decreasing the number of neovessels and on IPH by increasing vessel maturation. Atorvastatin improves vessel maturation by inhibiting ANGPT2 release and phospho(Y658)-mediated VE-Cadherin internalization.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalAngiogenesis
Early online date7 Feb 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Plasque angiogenesis
  • Plaque haemorrhage
  • Statins
  • atherosclerosis
  • Vein graft disease
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Plaque angiogenesis

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