Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3α Deficiency Attenuates Atherosclerosis and Hepatic Steatosis in High Fat Diet–Fed Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor–Deficient Mice
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Studies have implicated signaling through glycogen synthase kinase (GSK) 3α/β in the activation of pro-atherogenic pathways and the accelerated development of atherosclerosis. By using a mouse model, we examined the role of GSK3α in the development and progression of accelerated atherosclerosis. We crossed Gsk3a/GSK3α-knockout mice with low-density lipoprotein receptor (Ldlr) knockout mice. Five-week-old Ldlr(-/-);Gsk3a(+/+), Ldlr(-/-);Gsk3a(+/-), and Ldlr(-/-);Gsk3a(-/-) mice were fed a chow diet or a high-fat diet for 10 weeks and then sacrificed. GSK3α deficiency had no detectible effect on any measured parameters in chow-fed mice. High-fat-diet fed Ldlr(-/-) mice that were deficient for GSK3α had significantly less hepatic lipid accumulation and smaller atherosclerotic lesions (60% smaller in Ldlr(-/-);Gsk3a(+/-) mice, 80% smaller in Ldlr(-/-);Gsk3a(-/-) mice; P < 0.05), compared with Ldlr(-/-);Gsk3a(+/+) controls. GSK3α deficiency was associated with a significant increase in plasma IL-10 concentration and IL-10 expression in isolated macrophages. A twofold to threefold enhancement in endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced IL-10 expression was observed in Thp-1-derived macrophages that were pretreated with the GSK3α/β inhibitor CT99021. Together, these results suggest that GSK3α plays a pro-atherogenic role, possibly by mediating the effects of endoplasmic reticulum stress in the activation of pro-atherogenic pathways.
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