Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Ghrelin has been found to be associated with anti-inflammatory effects, inhibition of atherosclerotic plaque formation and plaque stability in the cardiovascular system. We investigated whether ghrelin affected atherosclerotic plaque and inflammation found in atherosclerosis. We crossed ghrelin receptor knockout mice (GHSR-/-) and low-density lipoprotein receptor-null (low- LDLR-/-) mice. In this model, serum lipid levels, atherosclerotic plaque on the aortic arches, and expression of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1, T cells, macrophages, and smooth muscle cells of atherosclerotic plaque were observed. Although serum lipid levels and atherosclerotic plaque in aortic arches were not significantly different between GHSR+/+/LDLR-/- and GHSR -/-LDLR-/- mice, ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 protein expression in atherosclerotic plaques were increased in GHSR -/-LDLR-/- mice compared with GHSR+/+/LDLR-/- mice. T cells and macrophages were increased, while smooth muscle cells of atherosclerotic plaques were less in GHSR -/-LDLR-/- mice than that in GHSR+/+/LDLR-/- mice. In conclusion, ghrelin receptor deficiency aggravates atherosclerotic plaque instability and vascular inflammation. This information will provide novel avenues for the treatment of patients with atherosclerosis.