Skip to Content
Authors Kraemer R, Baker PJ, Kent KC, Ye Y, Han JJ, Tejada R, Silane M, Upmacis R, Deeb R, Chen Y, Levine DM, Hempstead B
Journal Circulation Volume: 112 Issue: 23 Pages: 3644-53
Publish Date 2005 Dec 06
PubMed ID 16330706

Accumulation of macrophages and smooth muscle cells in the vascular wall is critical for the development of atherosclerotic lesions. Although much is known about the factors that regulate macrophage recruitment to the vascular wall, the ability of growth factors to regulate smooth muscle cell recruitment in lesion development in vivo is unclear. Our previous studies demonstrated that neurotrophins and their receptors, the Trk receptor tyrosine kinases, are potent chemotactic factors for smooth muscle cells, and the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its cognate receptor, TrkB, is upregulated in human atherosclerotic lesions.TrkB(/-) mice on a 129/B6 background were backcrossed to apolipoprotein E (ApoE)-null (ApoE(-/-)) mice on the C57Bl/6 background for 6 to 8 generations. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated BDNF immunoreactivity in areas of macrophage and smooth muscle cell infiltration, whereas TrkB immunoreactivity was predominant in areas of neointimal smooth muscle cells. Moreover, haplodeficient expression of TrkB in ApoE(-/-) mice was associated with a 30% to 40% reduction in lesion size compared with ApoE(-/-) mice with normal expression of TrkB and a 45% decrease in smooth muscle cell accumulation in the lesions. Finally, reconstitution with bone marrow from ApoE(-/-) mice with normal TrkB expression did not restore lesion development in TrKB(/-)/ApoE(-/-) mice.These results suggest that TrkB expression on smooth muscle cells contributes to lesion development in the cholesterol-fed ApoE-null mutant mouse. These data demonstrate, for the first time, a role for the neurotrophin TrkB receptor in atherosclerotic lesion development. Copyright © 2017 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System