The pro-atherogenic response to disturbed blood flow is increased by a western diet, but not by old age

Ashley E. Walker, Sarah R. Breevoort, Jessica R. Durrant, Yu Liu, Daniel R. Machin, Parker S. Dobson, Elizabeth I. Nielson, Antonio J. Meza, Md. Torikul Islam, Anthony J. Donato, Lisa A. Lesniewski
Scientific Reports2019
Atherogenic remodeling often occurs at arterial locations with disturbed blood flow (i.e., low or oscillatory) and both aging and western diet (WD) increase the likelihood for pro-atherogenic remodeling. However, it is unknown if old age and/or a WD modify the pro-atherogenic response to disturbed blood flow. We induced disturbed blood flow by partial carotid ligation (PCL) of the left carotid artery in young and old, normal chow (NC) or WD fed male B6D2F1 mice. Three weeks post-PCL, ligated carotid arteries had greater intima media thickness, neointima formation, and macrophage content compared with un-ligated arteries. WD led to greater remodeling and macrophage content in the ligated artery compared with NC mice, but these outcomes were similar between young and old mice. In contrast, nitrotyrosine content, a marker of oxidative stress, did not differ between WD and NC fed mice, but was greater in old compared with young mice in both ligated and un-ligated carotid arteries. In primary vascular smooth muscle cells, aging reduced proliferation, whereas conditioned media from fatty acid treated endothelial cells increased proliferation. Taken together, these findings suggest that the remodeling and pro-inflammatory response to disturbed blood flow is increased by WD, but is not increased by aging.

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