Objectives We investigated the effects of human resistin on atherosclerotic progression and clarified its underlying mechanisms. Background Resistin is an adipokine first identified as a mediator of insulin resistance in murine obesity models. But, its role in human pathology is under debate. Although a few recent studies suggested the relationship between resistin and atherosclerosis in humans, the causal relationship and underlying mechanism have not been clarified. Methods We cloned rabbit resistin, which showed 78% identity to human resistin at the complementary deoxyribonucleic acid level, and its expression was examined in 3 different atherosclerotic rabbit models. To evaluate direct role of resistin on atherosclerosis, collared rabbit carotid arteries were used. Histological and cell biologic analyses were performed. Results Rabbit resistin was expressed by macrophages of the plaque in the 3 different atherosclerotic models. Peri-adventitial resistin gene transfer induced macrophage infiltration and expression of various inflammatory cytokines, resulting in the acceleration of plaque growth and destabilization. In vitro experiments elucidated that resistin increased monocyte-endothelial cell adhesion by upregulating very late antigen-4 on monocytes and their counterpart vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 on endothelial cells. Resistin augmented monocyte infiltration in collagen by direct chemoattractive effect as well as by enhancing migration toward monocyte chemotactic protein-1. Administration of connecting segment-1 peptide, which blocks very late antigen-4 × vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 interaction, ameliorated neointimal growth induced by resistin in vivo. Conclusions Our results indicate that resistin aggravates atherosclerosis by stimulating monocytes, endothelial cells, and vascular smooth muscle cells to induce vascular inflammation. These findings provide the first insight on the causal relationship between resistin and atherosclerosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine