The nuclear receptors for heme, REV-ERBα and REV-ERBβ, play important roles in the regulation of metabolism and inflammation. Recently it was demonstrated that reduced REV-ERBα expression in hematopoetic cells in LDL receptor null mice led to increased atherosclerosis. We sought to determine if synthetic REV-ERB agonists that we have developed might have the ability to suppress atherosclerosis in this model. A previously characterized synthetic REV-ERB agonist, SR9009, was used to determine if activation of REV-ERB activity would affect atherosclerosis in LDL receptor deficient mice. Atherosclerotic plaque size was significantly reduced (p < 0.05) in mice administered SR9009 (100 mg/kg) for seven weeks compared to control mice (n = 10 per group). SR9009 treatment of bone marrow-derived mouse macrophages (BMDM) reduced the polarization of BMDMs to proinflammatory M1 macrophage while increasing the polarization of BMDMs to anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages. Our results suggest that pharmacological targeting of REV-ERBs may be a viable therapeutic option for treatment of atherosclerosis.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis; Macrophages; Nuclear receptor; REV-ERB.
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