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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2014, Article ID 905463, 12 pages
Research Article

Increased Expression of Chitinase 3-Like 1 in Aorta of Patients with Atherosclerosis and Suppression of Atherosclerosis in Apolipoprotein E-Knockout Mice by Chitinase 3-Like 1 Gene Silencing

1Department of Cardiology, Qianfoshan Hospital, Shandong University, 16766 Jingshi Road, Jinan 250014, China
2Department of Cardiology, Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan 250355, China

Received 2 July 2013; Revised 27 November 2013; Accepted 23 January 2014; Published 4 March 2014

Academic Editor: Claudia Monaco

Copyright © 2014 Zushun Gong 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.


Introduction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the changes of chitinase 3-like 1 (CHI3L1) in the aorta of patients with coronary atherosclerosis and to determine whether inhibition of CHI3L1 by lentivirus-mediated RNA interference could stabilize atherosclerotic plaques in apolipoprotein E-knockout (ApoE−/−) mice. Methods. We collected discarded aortic specimens from patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery and renal arterial tissues from kidney donors. A lentivirus carrying small interfering RNA targeting the expression of CHI3L1 was constructed. Fifty ApoE−/− mice were divided into control group and CHI3L1 gene silenced group. A constrictive collar was placed around carotid artery to induce plaques formation. Then lentivirus was transfected into carotid plaques. Results. We found that CHI3L1 was overexpressed in aorta of patients with atherosclerosis and its expression was correlated with the atherosclerotic risk factors. After lentivirus transduction, mRNA and protein expression of CHI3L1 were attenuated in carotid plaques, leading to reduced plaque content of lipids and macrophages, and increased plaque content of collagen and smooth muscle cells. Moreover, CHI3L1 gene silencing downregulated the expression of local proinflammatory mediators. Conclusions. CHI3L1 is overexpressed in aorta from patients with atherosclerosis and the lentivirus-mediated CHI3L1 gene silencing could represent a new strategy to inhibit plaques progression.