About this Journal Submit a Manuscript Table of Contents
Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 613879, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2009/613879
Research Article

Effects of Chronic Mild Stress on the Development of Atherosclerosis and Expression of Toll-Like Receptor 4 Signaling Pathway in Adolescent Apolipoprotein E Knockout Mice

1Key Lab for Arteriosclerology of Hunan Province, Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, University of South China, Hengyang 421001, China
2Department of Pathophysiology, Medical School of Changsha of Hunan Province, Changsha 41000, China

Received 5 March 2009; Revised 9 June 2009; Accepted 10 June 2009

Academic Editor: Terry Delovitch

Copyright © 2009 Hongfeng Gu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Here, we investigated the effect of chronic mild stress (CMS) on the development of atherosclerosis as well as the expression of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) signaling pathway in adolescent apolipoprotein E knockout (apoE-/-) mice. Mice were subjected to daily CMS for 0, 4, and 12 weeks, respectively. To identify the expression of Toll-like receptor 4 signaling pathway in adolescent apolipoprotein E knockout mice subjected to CMS, we compared gene expression in aortas of stressed and unstressed mice using TLRs signaling pathway real-time PCR microarrays consisting of 87 genes. We found that atherosclerosis lesions both in aortic tress and sinuses of CMS mice were significantly increased linearly in response to duration of CMS exposure. Among 87 genes analyzed, 15 genes were upregulated in stressed mice, especially TLR4, myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88), and IL-1 , and 28 genes were downregulated compared with nonstressed mice. CMS mice demonstrated markedly increased aortic atherosclerosis that were associated with significant increases in levels of expression of TLR4, MyD88, nuclear factor B (NF- B), MCP-1, IL-1 , TNF- , and sICAM-1. Taken together, our results suggest an important role for TLR4 signaling pathway in atherosclerosis in a CMS mouse model.