Homocysteine (Hcy) is considered an independent risk factor for various cardiovascular diseases including atherosclerosis which is associated with lipid metabolism, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Results from our previous study suggested that Hcy-induced atherosclerosis could be reversed by Herpud1 knockout which inhibits vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) phenotype switching. Here, we aim to investigate more precise mechanisms behind the improvement in Hcy-induced atherosclerosis. Amyloid-β40 (Aβ40), a vital protein in Alzheimer disease (AD), has been regarded as an important component in the atherosclerosis program in recent years due to the biological similarity between AD and atherosclerosis. Thus, we determined to assess the value of Aβ40 in a Herpud1 knockout Hcy-induced atherosclerosis mouse model by measuring Aβ40 expression in tissue and biomarkers of lipid metabolism, inflammation, and oxidative stress in serum. Additionally, since endothelial dysfunction plays a prominent role in atherosclerosis, we tested human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) function following Herpud1 silencing in vitro and evaluated JNK/AP1 signaling activation in our models because of its close relationship with Aβ40. As a result, our animal models showed that Herpud1 knockout reduced Aβ40 expression, inflammation, and oxidative stress levels other than lipid metabolism and alleviated atherosclerosis via JNK/AP1 signaling inhibition. Similarly, our cell experiments implied that Hcy-induced Aβ40 elevation and HUVEC dysfunction involving cell proliferation and apoptosis could be restored by Herpud1 silence through restraining JNK/AP1 pathway. Collectively, our study demonstrates that Herpud1 deficiency could reduce Aβ40 expression, thereby suppressing Hcy-induced atherosclerosis by blocking the JNK/AP1 pathway. This may provide novel potential targets for atherosclerosis prevention or treatment.
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This work was supported by grants from the Zhejiang Medical and Health Project (2018KY172); the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81873120).
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• Herpud1 deficiency could suppress Hcy-induced atherosclerosis.
• Amyloid-β40 decline is highly involved in Herpud1 deficiency Hcy-induced atherosclerosis process via blocking the JNK/AP1 pathway.
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Gao, F., Zhang, J., Ni, T. et al. Herpud1 deficiency could reduce amyloid-β40 expression and thereby suppress homocysteine-induced atherosclerosis by blocking the JNK/AP1 pathway. J Physiol Biochem (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13105-020-00741-5
- Herpud1 deficiency
- JNK/AP1 pathway