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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Angiotensin AT1 receptor antagonist irbesartan decreases lesion size, chemokine expression, and macrophage accumulation in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice.

Recent data suggest that angiotensin II AT1 receptor antagonists may be beneficial in the treatment of atherosclerosis. To clarify how AT1 receptor antagonists reduce atherosclerosis, the effect of irbesartan on atherosclerotic lesion development was determined in low-fat, chow-fed apolipoprotein (Apo) E-deficient mice. Irbesartan (50 mg/kg per day) strongly decreased lesion development after a 12-week treatment period (lesion size: irbesartan treated, 20,524 +/- 4,200 microm(2) vs. control, 99,600 +/- 14,500; 79.4% inhibition, p < 0.001). This effect was not due to an effect of irbesartan on lipoprotein levels because irbesartan slightly increased total cholesterol levels and decreased the ratio of Apo A-I relative to Apo B levels. Immunochemical analysis of the atherosclerotic lesions using the mac3 monoclonal antibody showed the presence of macrophages in the lesions of control mice, whereas sections from irbesartan-treated animals only showed occasional labeling in the lesion area. These data suggest that irbesartan inhibits monocyte/macrophage influx into the vessel wall. Therefore, expression levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 ( MCP-1), as well as other chemokines involved in macrophage infiltration into the lesion area, were measured in the aortic sinus of control and irbesartan-treated animals. Irbesartan treatment strongly decreased MCP-1 mRNA levels as well as MCP-1 immunostaining in the lesion area. This effect of irbesartan on MCP-1 occurred without an effect on CCR2, the receptor of MCP-1. Expression of macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1alpha, another CC chemokine expressed in atherosclerotic lesions, was also reduced after irbesartan treatment, without effect on CCR3 and CCR5, the receptors of MIP-1alpha. Concomitantly, the expression of the angiogenic chemokines KC and MIP-2, which are functionally related to interleukin-8, were downregulated, whereas their shared receptor CXCR2 was upregulated. These data suggest that inhibition of the inflammatory component of lesion progression plays an important role in the inhibitory effect of AT1 receptor antagonists on atherosclerotic lesion formation.[1]


  1. Angiotensin AT1 receptor antagonist irbesartan decreases lesion size, chemokine expression, and macrophage accumulation in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Dol, F., Martin, G., Staels, B., Mares, A.M., Cazaubon, C., Nisato, D., Bidouard, J.P., Janiak, P., Schaeffer, P., Herbert, J.M. J. Cardiovasc. Pharmacol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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