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    Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory arterial disease characterized by build-up of atheromatous plaque, which narrows the lumen of arteries. Hypercholesterolemia and excessive oxidative stress in arterial walls are among the main causative factors of atherosclerosis. Transient receptor potential channel M2 (TRPM2) is a Ca2+-permeable cation channel activated by oxidative stress. However, the role of TRPM2 in atherosclerosis in animal models is not well studied. In the present study, with the use of adeno-associated virus (AAV)-PCSK9 and TRPM2 knockout (TRPM2-/-) mice, we determined the role of TRPM2 in hypercholesterolemia-induced atherosclerosis. Our results demonstrated that TRPM2 knockout reduced atherosclerotic plaque area in analysis of En face Oil Red O staining of both whole aortas and aortic-root thin sections. Furthermore, TRPM2 knockout reduced the expression of CD68, α-SMA, and PCNA in the plaque region, suggesting a role of TRPM2 in promoting macrophage infiltration and smooth-muscle cell migration into the lesion area. Moreover, TRPM2 knockout reduced the expression of ICAM-1, MCP-1, and TNFα and decreased the ROS level in the plaque region, suggesting a role of TRPM2 in enhancing monocyte adhesion and promoting vascular inflammation. In bone-marrow-derived macrophages and primary cultured arterial endothelial cells, TRPM2 knockout reduced the production of inflammatory cytokines/factors and decreased ROS production. In addition, a TRPM2 antagonist N-(p-amylcinnamoyl) anthranilic acid (ACA) was able to inhibit atherosclerotic development in an ApoE-/- mouse model of atherosclerosis. Taken together, the findings of our study demonstrated that TRPM2 contributes to the progression of hypercholesterolemia-induced atherosclerosis. Mechanistically, TRPM2 channels may provide an essential link that can connect ROS to Ca2+ and inflammation, consequently promoting atherosclerotic progression.


    Yunting Zhang, Fan Ying, Xiaoyu Tian, Zhenchuan Lei, Xiao Li, Chun-Yin Lo, Jingxuan Li, Liwen Jiang, Xiaoqiang Yao. TRPM2 Promotes Atherosclerotic Progression in a Mouse Model of Atherosclerosis. Cells. 2022 Apr 22;11(9)

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    PMID: 35563730

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