Predilection of Low Protein C-induced Spontaneous Atherothrombosis for the Right Coronary Sinus in Apolipoprotein E deficient mice

Marco Heestermans, Amber B. Ouweneel, Jasmin Hassan, Meander Kloosterman, Pieter H. Reitsma, Marion J. J. Gijbels, Bart J. M. van Vlijmen, Miranda van Eck

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Silencing of anticoagulant protein C using RNA interference (siProc) evokes low incident but spontaneous atherothrombosis in the aortic root of apolipoprotein E–deficient (Apoe−/−) mice. The aims of the current study were (1) to analyze if plaque characteristics or circulating factors could be linked to atherothrombosis susceptibility, (2) to increase the incidence of atherothrombosis by transiently increasing blood pressure, and (3) to direct atherothrombosis to an additional predefined vascular site by applying a semi-constrictive collar around the carotid artery. siProc-driven spontaneous atherothrombosis in the aortic root of Apoe−/− mice was reproduced and occurred at an incidence of 23% (9 out of 39 mice), while the incidence of collar-induced atherothrombosis in the carotid artery was 2.6% (1 out of 39 mice). Treatment with phenylephrine, to transiently increase blood pressure, did not increase atherothrombosis in the aortic root of the Apoe−/− mice nor in the carotid arteries with collars. Plaques in the aortic root with an associated thrombus were lower in collagen and macrophage content, and mice with atherothrombosis had significantly more circulating platelets. Plasma protein C, white blood cell counts, total cholesterol, fibrinogen, serum amyloid A, and IL-6 were not different amongst siProc treated mice with or without thrombosis. Remarkably, our data revealed that thrombus formation preferably occurred on plaques in the right coronary sinus of the aortic root. In conclusion, there is a predilection of low protein C-induced spontaneous atherothrombosis in Apoe−/− mice for the right coronary sinus, a process that is associated with an increase in platelets and plaques lower in collagen and macrophage content.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15106
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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