Publications by authors named "Julia Leipner"

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Myeloid cell-specific Irf5 deficiency stabilizes atherosclerotic plaques in Apoe mice.

Mol Metab 2021 May 12;53:101250. Epub 2021 May 12.

University Heart Center, Department of Cardiology and Angiology I, University of Freiburg and Faculty of Medicine, 55 Hugstetter St, 79106, Freiburg, Germany. Electronic address:

Objective: Interferon regulatory factor (IRF) 5 is a transcription factor known for promoting M1 type macrophage polarization in vitro. Given the central role of inflammatory macrophages in promoting atherosclerotic plaque progression, we hypothesize that myeloid cell-specific deletion of IRF5 is protective against atherosclerosis.

Methods: Female ApoeLysmIrf5 and ApoeIrf5 mice were fed a high-cholesterol diet for three months. Atherosclerotic plaque size and compositions as well as inflammatory gene expression were analyzed. Mechanistically, IRF5-dependent bone marrow-derived macrophage cytokine profiles were tested under M1 and M2 polarizing conditions. Mixed bone marrow chimeras were generated to determine intrinsic IRF5-dependent effects on macrophage accumulation in atherosclerotic plaques.

Results: Myeloid cell-specific Irf5 deficiency blunted LPS/IFNγ-induced inflammatory gene expression in vitro and in the atherosclerotic aorta in vivo. While atherosclerotic lesion size was not reduced in myeloid cell-specific Irf5-deficient Apoe mice, plaque composition was favorably altered, resembling a stable plaque phenotype with reduced macrophage and lipid contents, reduced inflammatory gene expression and increased collagen deposition alongside elevated Mertk and Tgfβ expression. Irf5-deficient macrophages, when directly competing with wild type macrophages in the same mouse, were less prone to accumulate in atherosclerotic lesion, independent of monocyte recruitment. Irf5-deficient monocytes, when exposed to oxidized low density lipoprotein, were less likely to differentiate into macrophage foam cells, and Irf5-deficient macrophages proliferated less in the plaque.

Conclusion: Our study provides genetic evidence that selectively altering macrophage polarization induces a stable plaque phenotype in mice.
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May 2021