(1) Background: Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) undergo a complex phenotypic switch in response to atherosclerosis environmental triggers, contributing to atherosclerosis disease progression. However, the complex heterogeneity of VSMCs and how VSMC dediffer-entiation affects human carotid artery disease (CAD) risk has not been clearly established. (2) Method: A single-cell RNA sequencing analysis of CD45− cells derived from the atherosclerotic aorta of Apolipoprotein E-deficient (Apoe−/−) mice on a normal cholesterol diet (NCD) or a high cholesterol diet (HCD), respecting the site-specific predisposition to atherosclerosis was performed. Growth Differentiation Factor 10 (GDF10) role in VSMCs phenotypic switch was investigated via flow cytometry, immunofluorescence in human atherosclerotic plaques. (3) Results: scRNAseq analysis revealed the transcriptomic profile of seven clusters, five of which showed disease-relevant gene signature of VSMC macrophagic calcific phenotype, VSMC mesenchymal chondrogenic phenotype, VSMC inflammatory and fibro-phenotype and VSMC inflammatory phenotype. Osteoblast factor GDF10 involved in ossification and osteoblast differentiation emerged as a hallmark of VSMCs undergoing phenotypic switch. Under hypercholesteremia, GDF10 triggered VSMC osteogenic switch in vitro. The abundance of GDF10 expressing osteogenic-like VSMCs cells was linked to the occurrence of carotid artery disease (CAD) events. (4) Conclusions: Taken together, these results provide evidence about GDF10-mediated VSMC osteogenic switch, with a likely detrimental role in atherosclerotic plaque stability.

Single-Cell Analysis Uncovers Osteoblast Factor Growth Differentiation Factor 10 as Mediator of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Phenotypic Modulation Associated with Plaque Rupture in Human Carotid Artery Disease

Montecucco F.;
2022-01-01

Abstract

(1) Background: Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) undergo a complex phenotypic switch in response to atherosclerosis environmental triggers, contributing to atherosclerosis disease progression. However, the complex heterogeneity of VSMCs and how VSMC dediffer-entiation affects human carotid artery disease (CAD) risk has not been clearly established. (2) Method: A single-cell RNA sequencing analysis of CD45− cells derived from the atherosclerotic aorta of Apolipoprotein E-deficient (Apoe−/−) mice on a normal cholesterol diet (NCD) or a high cholesterol diet (HCD), respecting the site-specific predisposition to atherosclerosis was performed. Growth Differentiation Factor 10 (GDF10) role in VSMCs phenotypic switch was investigated via flow cytometry, immunofluorescence in human atherosclerotic plaques. (3) Results: scRNAseq analysis revealed the transcriptomic profile of seven clusters, five of which showed disease-relevant gene signature of VSMC macrophagic calcific phenotype, VSMC mesenchymal chondrogenic phenotype, VSMC inflammatory and fibro-phenotype and VSMC inflammatory phenotype. Osteoblast factor GDF10 involved in ossification and osteoblast differentiation emerged as a hallmark of VSMCs undergoing phenotypic switch. Under hypercholesteremia, GDF10 triggered VSMC osteogenic switch in vitro. The abundance of GDF10 expressing osteogenic-like VSMCs cells was linked to the occurrence of carotid artery disease (CAD) events. (4) Conclusions: Taken together, these results provide evidence about GDF10-mediated VSMC osteogenic switch, with a likely detrimental role in atherosclerotic plaque stability.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1069856
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