Virus-induced atherosclerosis. Herpesvirus infection alters aortic cholesterol metabolism and accumulation.

TitleVirus-induced atherosclerosis. Herpesvirus infection alters aortic cholesterol metabolism and accumulation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1986
AuthorsHajjar DP, Fabricant CG, Minick CR, Fabricant J
JournalAm J Pathol
Date Published1986 Jan
KeywordsAnimals, Aorta, Arteriosclerosis, Chickens, Cholesterol, Cholesterol Esters, Enzyme Activation, Herpesviridae, Marek Disease, Phospholipids, Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms, Sterol Esterase, Sterol O-Acyltransferase, Triglycerides, Viral Vaccines

Infection of normocholesterolemic, specific-pathogen-free chickens with Marek's disease herpesvirus (MDV) has been shown histologically to lead to chronic atherosclerosis like that in humans. The development of herpesvirus-induced atherosclerosis in vivo and the presence of specific Marek's antigen within aortic cells suggested that MDV infection may modify lipid metabolism and lead to significant lipid accumulation. Experiments reported herein were designed to determine the types and quantity of lipid present in aortas from MDV-infected and uninfected chickens between 2 and 8 months of age following infection and assess one possible mechanism of lipid accumulation by evaluating the effect of MDV infection on aortic cholesterol and cholesteryl ester (CE) metabolism. Chromatographic-fluorometric analyses indicated that at 4 and 8 months of age after MDV inoculation, MDV-infected animals had a significant (P less than 0.05) two-fold to threefold increase in total aortic lipid accumulation characterized by significant increases in cholesterol, CE, triacylglycerol, and phospholipid as compared with aortas from uninfected animals. At 8 months of age, similar increases in aortic lipid accumulation were observed in MDV-infected animals as compared with those animals vaccinated with turkey herpesvirus and later challenged with MDV. CE synthetic activity was increased significantly by 50% at 4 months of age in the MDV-infected group as compared with the uninfected group, which could explain the initial increase in CE accumulation. By 8 months of age, the authors also observed a twofold increase in CE synthetic activity and a 30% and 80% reduction in lysosomal and cytoplasmic CE hydrolytic activities, respectively, in aortas of MDV-infected chickens as compared to controls. Moreover, infection with MDV blocked the activation of cytoplasmic CE hydrolytic activity by dibutyryl cyclic AMP or exogenous cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase. Taken together, these results suggest that lipid accretion in aortas of MDV-infected chickens results, in part, from alterations in cholesterol/CE metabolism during early stages of the disease. These findings support the hypothesis that human atherosclerosis may result from specific herpesvirus infection which can alter lipid metabolism and lead to lipid accretion.

Alternate JournalAm J Pathol
PubMed ID2934987
PubMed Central IDPMC1888139
Grant ListHL-18828 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HL-19381 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HL-28179 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
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David P. Hajjar, Ph.D.

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