High levels of circulating soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L) are frequently found in patients with hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, ischemic stroke, or acute coronary syndromes, predicting an increased rate of atherosclerotic plaque rupture and restenosis after coronary/carotid interventions. Clinical restenosis is characterized in part by exaggerated neointima formation, but the underlying mechanism remains incompletely understood. This study investigated the role of elevated sCD40L in neointima formation in response to vascular injury in an atherogenic animal model and explored the molecular mechanisms involved. apoE-/- mice fed a Western diet developed severe hypercholesterolemia, significant hyperglycemia, and high levels of plasma sCD40L. Neointima formation after carotid denudation injury was exaggerated in the apoE-/- mice. In vivo, blocking CD40L with anti-CD40L monoclonal antibody attenuated the early accumulation of Ly-6G+ neutrophils and Gr-1+ monocytes (at 3 days) and the late accumulation of Mac-2 + macrophages (at 28 days) in the denudated arteries; it also reduced the exaggerated neointima formation at 28 days. In vitro, recombinant CD40L stimulated platelet P-selectin and neutrophil Mac-1 expression and platelet-neutrophil co-aggregation and adhesive interaction. These effects were abrogated by anti-CD40L or anti-Mac-1 monoclonal antibody. Moreover, recombinant CD40L stimulated neutrophil oxidative burst and release of matrix metalloproteinase-9 in vitro. We conclude that elevated sCD40L promotes platelet-leukocyte activation and recruitment and neointima formation after arterial injury, potentially through enhancement of platelet P-selectin and leukocyte Mac-1 expression and oxidative activity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine