Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 4 pp 5650—5673
Synergistic inflammatory signaling by cGAS may be involved in the development of atherosclerosis
- 1 Department of Neurology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China
- 2 Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Guangxi Medical University, Nanning 530021, Guangxi, China
Received: May 26, 2020 Accepted: October 23, 2020 Published: February 11, 2021https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.202491
How to Cite
Copyright: © 2021 Lu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Inappropriate activation or overactivation of cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) by double-stranded deoxyribonucleic acid (dsDNA) initiates a regulatory signaling cascade triggering a variety of inflammatory responses, which are a great threat to human health. This study focused on identifying the role of cGAS in atherosclerosis and its potential mechanisms. The relationship between cGAS and atherosclerosis was identified in an ApoE -/- mouse model. Meanwhile, RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis of the underlying mechanisms of atherosclerosis in RAW264.7 macrophages treated with cGAS inhibition was conducted. Results showed that cGAS was positively correlated with atherosclerotic plaque area, and was mainly distributed in macrophages. RNA-seq analysis revealed that inflammatory response, immune response and cytokine–cytokine receptor interaction may play important roles in the development of atherosclerosis. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) results showed that the expression of the pro-inflammatory factors, signal transducer and activator of transcription (Stat), interferon regulatory factor (Irf), toll-like receptors (Tlrs), and type I interferons (Ifns) were synergistically reduced when cGAS was inhibited. Furthermore, cGAS inhibition significantly inhibited RAW264.7 macrophage M1 polarization. These results demonstrate that cGAS may contribute to the development of atherosclerosis through synergistic inflammatory signaling of TLRs, STAT/IRF as well as IFNs, leading to macrophage M1 polarization.