Co-localization of angiotensin-converting enzyme2-, octomer-4- and CD34-positive cells in rabbit atherosclerotic plaques

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Zulli, Anthony, Rai, Sudarshan, Buxton, Brian F, Burrell, Louise M and Hare, David L (2008) Co-localization of angiotensin-converting enzyme2-, octomer-4- and CD34-positive cells in rabbit atherosclerotic plaques. Experimental Physiology, 93 (5). pp. 564-569. ISSN 0958-0670 (print) 1469-445X (online)


Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a novel enzyme with possible implications in the treatment of blood pressure disorders. Recent evidence suggests that an upregulation of ACE2 can be stimulated by all-trans retinoic acid (at-RA); however, at-RA also affects regulation of the stem-cell marker octomer-4 (Oct-4) and thus cellular differentiation. We have previously shown that smoothmuscle cells and macrophages present within rabbit atherosclerotic plaques are positive for ACE2, Oct-4 and the haematopoietic stem-cell marker CD34. Thus, to provide evidence that possible at-RA treatment could affect both plaque cellular biology (via effects on cellular differentiation) and blood pressure (via ACE2), it is vital to show that cells with atherosclerotic plaques co-express all three markers. Thus, we sought to provide evidence that a subset of cells within atherosclerotic plaques is positive for ACE2, Oct-4 and CD34. We used New Zealand White rabbits that were fed a control diet supplemented with 0.5% cholesterol plus 1% methionine for 4 weeks and then allowed to consume a normal diet for 10 weeks. Immunohistochemistry was performed by standard echniques.We report thatACE2, Oct-4 and CD34were all presentwithin atherosclerotic plaques. Althoughmacrophages were positive for all threemarkers, spindle-shaped cells inthe media did not showall threemarkers. The endothelium overlying normal arterial wall showed positive Oct-4 and ACE2 immunoreactivity, but CD34 immunoreactivity was patchy, indicating that such cells might not have fully differentiated. It is concluded that cells in atherosclerotic plaques express co-express ACE2, Oct-4 and CD34. Further studies aimed at establishing the effects of all-trans retinoic acid on blood pressure and atherosclerotic cell differentiation are warranted.

Item type Article
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1102 Cardiorespiratory Medicine and Haematology
Historical > FOR Classification > 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1101 Medical Biochemistry and Metabolomics
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Biomedical and Health Sciences
Keywords ResPubID17598, ResPubID22041. co-localization, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, ACE2, rabbit atherosclerotic plaques, rabbits, CD34-positive cells, atherosclerosis, all-trans retinoic acid, at-RA, stem-cell marker, stem cells, octomer-4, Oct-4
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