Canonical pathway of nuclear factor kappa B activation selectively regulates proinflammatory and prothrombotic responses in human atherosclerosis.
Monaco C., Andreakos E., Kiriakidis S., Mauri C., Bicknell C., Foxwell B., Cheshire N., Paleolog E., Feldmann M.
Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappa B) activation has been observed in human atherosclerotic plaques and is enhanced in unstable coronary plaques, but whether such activation has a protective or pathophysiological role remains to be determined. We addressed this question by developing a short-term culture system of cells isolated from human atherosclerotic tissue, allowing efficient gene transfer to directly investigate signaling pathways in human atherosclerosis. We found that NF-kappa B is activated in these cells and that this activity involves p65, p50, and c-Rel but not p52 or RelB. This NF-kappa B activation can be blocked by overexpression of I kappa B alpha or dominant-negative I kappa B kinase (IKK)-2 but not dominant-negative IKK-1 or NF-kappa B-inducing kinase, resulting in selective inhibition of inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor alpha, IL-6, and IL-8), tissue factor, and matrix metalloproteinases without affecting the antiinflammatory cytokine IL-10 or tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases. Our results demonstrate that the canonical pathway of NF-kappa B activation that involves p65, p50, c-Rel, and IKK-2 is activated in human atherosclerosis and results in selective up-regulation of major proinflammatory and prothrombotic mediators of the disease.