IL-6 and the acute phase response in murine atherosclerosis

  • Li Song
    Department of Microbiology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 This work is supported by grants from the NIH (HL-56984 and AI-50514).
    Christian Schindler
    Corresponding author. Fax: +1 212 543 0063.
    1 This work is supported by grants from the NIH (HL-56984 and AI-50514).
    Department of Medicine, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, 701 West, 168th Street, HHSC 1212, New York, NY 10032, USA

    Department of Microbiology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    1 This work is supported by grants from the NIH (HL-56984 and AI-50514).


      Numerous studies have implicated C-reactive protein (CRP) and the acute phase response (APR) in the development of atherosclerotic heart disease. Interleukin (IL)-6, which regulates both CRP expression and the APR, has also been identified as a risk factor for heart disease. To more directly evaluate the role of IL-6 in the development of atherosclerosis, IL-6 knockout mice were crossed with atherosclerosis prone LDL receptor (LDL-R) knockout mice. Lesion development was evaluated on Chow, Western type and Paigen diets. As anticipated, the Paigen diet stimulated the expression of APR genes in LDL-R[−/−] mice, but not IL-6[−/−]/LDL-R[−/−] mice. Despite this difference in acute phase response, only modest and statistically not significant differences were noted in the development of atherosclerotic lesions in LDL-R[−/−] and IL-6[−/−]/LDL-R[−/−] mice. These observations suggest that IL-6 and the acute phase response may not play as significant role in atherogenesis as other studies have indicated.


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