Hematopoietic Interferon Regulatory Factor 8-Deficiency Accelerates Atherosclerosis in Mice

Yvonne Doering, Oliver Soehnlein, Maik Drechsler, Erdenechimeg Shagdarsuren, Sweena M. Chaudhari, Svenja Meiler, Helene Hartwig, Mihail Hristov, Rory R. Koenen, Thomas Hieronymus, Martin Zenke, Christian Weber, Alma Zernecke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

39 Citations (Web of Science)


Objective-Inflammatory leukocyte accumulation drives atherosclerosis. Although monocytes/macrophages and polymorphonuclear neutrophilic leukocytes (PMN) contribute to lesion formation, sequelae of myeloproliferative disease remain to be elucidated. Methods and Results-We used mice deficient in interferon regulatory factor 8 (IRF8(-/-)) in hematopoietic cells that develop a chronic myelogenous leukemia-like phenotype. Apolipoprotein E-deficient mice reconstituted with IRF8(-/-) or IRF8(-/-) apolipoprotein E-deficient bone marrow displayed an exacerbated atherosclerotic lesion formation compared with controls. The chronic myelogenous leukemia-like phenotype in mice with IRF8(-/-) bone marrow, reflected by an expansion of PMN in the circulation, was associated with an increased lesional accumulation and apoptosis of PMN, and enlarged necrotic cores. IRF8(-/-) compared with IRF8(+/+) PMN displayed unaffected reactive oxygen species formation and discharge of PMN granule components. In contrast, accumulating in equal numbers at sites of inflammation, IRF8(-/-)macrophages were defective in efferocytosis, lipid uptake, and interleukin-10 cytokine production. Importantly, depletion of PMN in low-density lipoprotein receptor or apolipoprotein E-deficient mice with IRF8(-/-) or IRF8(-/-) apolipoprotein E-deficient bone marrow abrogated increased lesion formation. Conclusion-These findings indicate that a chronic myelogenous leukemia-like phenotype contributes to accelerated atherosclerosis in mice. Among proatherosclerotic effects of other cell types, this, in part, is linked to an expansion of functionally intact PMN. (Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2012;32:1613-1623.)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1613-1623
JournalArteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • atherosclerosis
  • inflammation
  • leukocytes
  • neutrophils
  • vascular biology

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