Advanced atherosclerosis is associated with inflammation, vascular dysfunction and oxidative stress, but not hypertension

Quynh N. Dinh, Sophocles Chrissobolis, Henry Diep, Christopher T. Chan, Dorota Ferens, Grant R. Drummond, Christopher G. Sobey

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Although hypertension may involve underlying inflammation, it is unknown whether advanced atherosclerosis - a chronic inflammatory condition - can by itself promote hypertension. We thus tested if advanced atherosclerosis in chronically hypercholesterolemic mice is associated with systemic and end-organ inflammation, vascular dysfunction and oxidative stress, and whether blood pressure is higher than in control mice. Male ApoE-/- and wild-type (C57Bl6J) mice were placed on a high fat or chow diet, respectively, from 5 to 61 weeks of age. Expression of several cytokines (including IL-6, TNF-α, IFN-γ and/or IL-1β) was elevated in plasma, brain, and aorta of ApoE-/- mice. Aortic superoxide production was ∼3.5-fold greater, and endothelium-dependent relaxation was markedly reduced in aorta and mesenteric artery of ApoE-/- versus wild-type mice. There was no difference in blood pressure of aged ApoE-/- (104±3mmHg, n=13) and wild-type mice (113±1mmHg, n=18). To clarify any effects of aging alone, findings from 61 week-old wild-type mice were compared with those from young (8-12 weeks old) chow-fed wild-type mice. The data indicate that aging alone increased renal and aortic expression of numerous cytokines (including CCL2, CCL7 and IL-1β). Aging had no effect on blood pressure, systemic inflammation, oxidative stress or endothelial function. Despite systemic and end-organ inflammation, oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction, advanced atherosclerosis does not necessarily result in elevated blood pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-76
Number of pages7
JournalPharmacological Research
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • Aging
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • Hypertension
  • Inflammation
  • Oxidative stress

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