DOI: 10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.17384 ISSN: 0009-7322

Abstract 17384: Unraveling the Impact of VAMP-8 Deficiency on Atherogenesis: A Fresh Perspective on Platelet Involvement

Shayan Mohammadmoradi, Rania Al Hawas, Ming Zhang, Smita Joshi, Sidney W Whiteheart
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Introduction and Objective: Recognized for their intricate role in atherogenesis, platelets interact with oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL), immune cells, and endothelial cells and release granule proteins and microparticles, contributing to the onset and advancement of atherosclerosis. Despite the challenges of antiplatelet treatment in primary prevention, exploring alternative platelet targets could provide key insights into their role in atherogenesis. This study pivots on the soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor activating protein receptor (SNARE) proteins, notably vesicle associated membrane protein 8 (VAMP-8) - the primary vesicle membrane (v-SNARE) and vital facilitator of platelet secretion.

Approach and Results: The profound impairment in α-granule, dense granule, and lysosome release due to VAMP-8 deficiency directed our investigation towards its potential role in atherogenesis. Using RNA-seq data from washed platelets of VAMP-8-/- mice versus wildtypes, we first analyzed the molecular signature of VAMP-8 deficiency. Gene ontology analysis revealed that the major differences in enriched genes between the two groups involved triglyceride biosynthetic process and platelet calcium homeostasis. We initiated atherosclerosis studies using ApoE -/- mice crossed with VAMP-8 -/- mice (n=11) alongside littermate controls (n=9), all fed a high cholesterol diet for 15 weeks. Remarkably, the deletion of VAMP-8 led to a substantial reduction in atherosclerotic lesion development when compared to the control group. Notably, this phenotype manifested irrespective of total cholesterol levels, as plasma cholesterol remained consistent across all groups.

Conclusion: Our findings reveal that VAMP8 deficiency markedly mitigates atherogenesis, thereby proposing a novel perspective to explore the influence of platelet cargo secretion on the inception of atherosclerosis. We are currently conducting additional studies to uncover the underlying mechanisms responsible for these observations

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