Tumor necrosis factor-α regulates triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1-dependent matrix metalloproteinases in the carotid plaques of symptomatic patients with carotid stenosis

Velidi H. Rao, Vikrant Rai, Samantha Stoupa, Saravanan Subramanian, Devendra K. Agrawal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the relationship between increased triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells (TREM)-1 and plaque stability in atherosclerotic carotid stenosis. Methods: The mRNA transcripts and protein for TREM-1, MMP-1, MMP-9, collagen type I (COL1A1) and collagen type III (COL3A1) were analyzed by qPCR and immunofluorescence in both tissues and VSMCs isolated from atherosclerotic carotid plaques of symptomatic and asymptomatic patients with carotid stenosis. Results: The TREM-1, MMP-1 and MMP-9 mRNA transcripts were significantly increased (TREM-1, p <0.01; MMP-1, p <0.01 and MMP-9, p <0.001) while COL1A1 and COL3A1 mRNA transcripts were decreased (p <0.001) in VSMCs isolated from carotid plaques of symptomatic (S) than asymptomatic (AS) patients. Stimulation of cells with TNF-α further increased the mRNA transcripts of TREM-1, MMPs, COL1A1 and COL3A1. Modulation of TREM-1 by treatment with TREM-1 decoy receptor rTREM-1/Fc, and either TREM-1 antibodies or TREM-1 siRNA attenuated the TNF-α-induced expression of MMP-1 and MMP-9 (p <0.01) and COL1A1 and COL3A1 (p <0.01) in S compared to AS VSMCs isolated from carotid plaques. Inhibition of NF-kB (BAY 11-7085), JNK (SP600125) and PI3K (LY294002) signaling pathways decreased the expression of TREM-1 (p <0.01), MMP-1 (p <0.001) and MMP-9 (p <0.01) in TNF-α-treated VSMCs isolated from S carotid plaques compared to AS patients. Conclusion: Increased expression of TREM-1 in S compared to AS patients involving MMP-1 and MMP-9 suggest a potential role of TREM-1 in plaque destabilization. Selective blockade of TREM-1 may contribute to the development of new therapies and promising targets for stabilizing vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-169
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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