Research ArticleATHEROSCLEROSIS

Delivery of MicroRNA-126 by Apoptotic Bodies Induces CXCL12-Dependent Vascular Protection

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Signaling  08 Dec 2009:
Vol. 2, Issue 100, pp. ra81
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2000610

You are currently viewing the editor's summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Sounding the Alarm

In addition to its importance in development and homeostasis, apoptotic cell death is implicated in a number of diseases, including atherosclerosis. Apoptotic endothelial cells at atherosclerotic plaques release microvesicles known as apoptotic bodies into the circulation, and their abundance correlates with negative indicators of disease. Zernecke et al. showed that apoptotic bodies from endothelial cells contained microRNA-126 (miR-126). Neighboring vascular cells took up the microvesicles, which allowed miR-126 to reduce the abundance of an inhibitor of the signaling of the chemokine receptor CXCR4, resulting in the increased production of CXCL12, the ligand for CXCR4. CXCL12 mediated the recruitment to atherosclerotic plaques of progenitor cells from the bone marrow, which limited plaque size. Apoptotic bodies isolated from human patients with atherosclerosis reduced the size of plaques in different mouse models of atherosclerosis. Thus, dying endothelial cells send alarm signals in the form of packaged microRNA to neighboring cells to trigger a healing response that reduces atherosclerosis.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Signaling