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Neutrophil microvesicles drive atherosclerosis by delivering miR-155 to atheroprone endothelium

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Marwa Mahmoud, Dr Carl Hulston



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2020, The Author(s). Neutrophils are implicated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis but are seldom detected in atherosclerotic plaques. We investigated whether neutrophil-derived microvesicles may influence arterial pathophysiology. Here we report that levels of circulating neutrophil microvesicles are enhanced by exposure to a high fat diet, a known risk factor for atherosclerosis. Neutrophil microvesicles accumulate at disease-prone regions of arteries exposed to disturbed flow patterns, and promote vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis in a murine model. Using cultured endothelial cells exposed to disturbed flow, we demonstrate that neutrophil microvesicles promote inflammatory gene expression by delivering miR-155, enhancing NF-κB activation. Similarly, neutrophil microvesicles increase miR-155 and enhance NF-κB at disease-prone sites of disturbed flow in vivo. Enhancement of atherosclerotic plaque formation and increase in macrophage content by neutrophil microvesicles is dependent on miR-155. We conclude that neutrophils contribute to vascular inflammation and atherogenesis through delivery of microvesicles carrying miR-155 to disease-prone regions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gomez I, Ward B, Souilhol C, Recarti C, Ariaans M, Johnston J, Burnett A, Mahmoud M, Luong LA, West L, Long M, Parry S, Woods R, Hulston C, Benedikter B, Niespolo C, Bazaz R, Francis S, Kiss-Toth E, van Zandvoort M, Schober A, Hellewell P, Evans PC, Ridger V

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nature Communications

Year: 2020

Volume: 11

Online publication date: 10/01/2020

Acceptance date: 11/12/2019

Date deposited: 11/06/2020

ISSN (electronic): 2041-1723

Publisher: Nature Research


DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-14043-y

PubMed id: 31924781


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