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Hypoxic regulation of secreted proteoglycans in macrophages.

Journal article
Authors Annika Asplund
Pia Stillemark-Billton
Erik Larsson
Ellen Knutsen Rydberg
Jonatan Moses
Lillemor Mattsson Hultén
Björn Fagerberg
German Camejo
Göran Bondjers
Published in Glycobiology
Volume 20
Issue 1
Pages 33-40
ISSN 1460-2423
Publication year 2010
Published at Wallenberg Laboratory
Institute of Medicine
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Institute of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine
Pages 33-40
Language en
Keywords HIF/hypoxia/macrophages/perlecan/versican
Subject categories Cell and Molecular Biology


Macrophages are prominent in hypoxic areas of atherosclerotic lesions, and their secreted proteoglycans (PG), such as versican, can modulate the retention of lipoproteins and the activity of enzymes, cytokines, and growth factors involved in atherogenesis. In this study, we report the effects of hypoxia on PG secreted by human monocyte-derived macrophages (HMDM) and the potential regulation by the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha). We found that versican co-localized with HIF-1alpha in macrophage-rich areas in human advanced atherosclerotic lesions. Versican and perlecan mRNA expression increased after exposure to 0.5% O(2) (hypoxia) compared with 21% O(2) (control cells). Using precursors to GAG biosynthesis combined with immunoabsorption with a versican antibody an increased versican synthesis was detected at hypoxia. Furthermore, siRNA knockdown of HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha in THP-1 cells showed that the hypoxic induction of versican and perlecan mRNA expression involved HIF signaling. Versican expression was co-regulated by HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha but expression of perlecan was influenced only by HIF-1alpha and not by HIF-2alpha knockdown. The results show that oxygen concentration is an important modulator of PG expression in macrophages. This may be a novel component of the complex role of macrophages in atherosclerosis.

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