The pathophysiology of atherosclerosis initiation and progression involves many inflammatory cytokines, one of them is interleukin (IL)-1α that has been shown to be secreted by activated macrophages. We have previously shown that IL-1α from bone marrow-derived cells is critical for early atherosclerosis development in mice. It is known that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in macrophages is involved in progression to more advanced atherosclerosis, but it is still unknown whether this effect is mediated through cytokine activation or secretion. We previously demonstrated that IL-1α is required in ER stress-induced activation of inflammatory cytokines in hepatocytes and in the associated induction of steatohepatitis. In the current study, we aimed to examine the potential role of IL-1α in ER stress-induced activation of macrophages, which is relevant to progression of atherosclerosis. First, we demonstrated that IL-1α is required for atherosclerosis development and progression in the apoE knockout (KO) mouse model of atherosclerosis. Next, we showed that ER stress in mouse macrophages results in the protein production and secretion of IL-1α in a dose-dependent manner, and that IL-1α is required in ER stress-induced production of the C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), a critical step in ER stress-mediated apoptosis. We further demonstrated that IL-1α-dependent CHOP production in macrophages is specifically mediated through the PERK-ATF4 signaling pathway. Altogether, these findings highlight IL-1α as a potential target for prevention and treatment of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
- ER Stress
- apoE KO