Endothelial NADPH oxidase 4 protects ApoE-/- mice from atherosclerotic lesions

UMMS Affiliation

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Cardiology | Cardiovascular Diseases | Enzymes and Coenzymes | Immunoprophylaxis and Therapy


Vascular reactive oxygen species (ROS) are known to be involved in atherosclerosis development and progression. NADPH oxidase 4 (Nox4) is a constitutively active ROS-producing enzyme that is highly expressed in the vascular endothelium. Nox4 is unique in its biology and has been implicated in vascular repair, however, the role of Nox4 in atherosclerosis is unknown. Therefore, to determine the effect of endothelial Nox4 on development of atherosclerosis, Apoe E-/- mice +/- endothelial Nox4 (ApoE-/- + EC Nox4) were fed a high cholesterol/high fat (Western) diet for 24 weeks. Significantly fewer atherosclerotic lesions were observed in the ApoE-/- + EC Nox4 mice as compared to the ApoE-/- littermates, which was most striking in the abdominal region of the aorta. In addition, markers of T cell populations were markedly different between the groups; T regulatory cell marker (FoxP3) was increased whereas T effector cell marker (T-bet) was decreased in aorta from ApoE-/- + EC Nox4 mice compared to ApoE-/- alone. We also observed decreased monokine induced by gamma interferon (MIG; CXCL9), a cytokine known to recruit and activate T cells, in plasma and tissue from ApoE-/- + EC Nox4 mice. To further investigate the link between endothelial Nox4 and MIG expression, we utilized cultured endothelial cells from our EC Nox4 transgenic mice and human cells with adenoviral overexpression of Nox4. In these cultured cells, upregulation of Nox4 attenuated endothelial cell MIG expression in response to interferon-gamma. Together these data suggest that endothelial Nox4 expression reduces MIG production and promotes a T cell distribution that favors repair over inflammation, leading to protection from atherosclerosis.


Atherosclerosis, CXCL9, NADPH Oxidase 4, Reactive oxygen species, T regulatory cells

DOI of Published Version



Free Radic Biol Med. 2015 Dec;89:1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2015.07.004. Epub 2015 Jul 10. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Free radical biology and medicine

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PubMed ID