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Author Notes:

Correspondence to Li Zhu, Soochow University, Suite 509, Bldg 703, 199 Ren’ai Road, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China; TEL 65880877. zhul@suda.edu.cn or Chaojun Tang, Soochow University, Suite 519, Bldg 703, 199 Ren’ai Road, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China; TEL 65880899. zjtang@suda.edu.cn

These authors contributed equally to the article as first authors: SH, YL, and TY.

Disclosures: None


Research Funding:

This work was supported in part by grants from the Natural Science Foundation of China (81620108001, 81370373, and 91439112 to L.Z. and 31300781 and 81670134 to C.T.), the Netherlands Heart Foundation (2013T127 to H.Z. and J.M.G.), the National Institutes of Health (HL119798 and HL095070 to HJ) and the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions of China.


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Hematology
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease
  • Cardiovascular System & Cardiology
  • atherosclerosis
  • diet, high fat
  • monocytes
  • semaphorins
  • upregulation

Vascular Semaphorin 7A Upregulation by Disturbed Flow Promotes Atherosclerosis Through Endothelial beta 1 Integrin

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Journal Title:

Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology


Volume 38, Number 2


, Pages 335-343

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Objective-Accumulating evidence suggests a role of semaphorins in vascular homeostasis. Here, we investigate the role of Sema7A (semaphorin 7A) in atherosclerosis and its underlying mechanism. Approach and Results-Using genetically engineered Sema7A -/- ApoE -/- mice, we showed that deletion of Sema7A attenuates atherosclerotic plaque formation primarily in the aorta of ApoE -/- mice on a high-fat diet. A higher level of Sema7A in the atheroprone lesser curvature suggests a correlation of Sema7A with disturbed flow. This notion is supported by elevated Sema7A expression in human umbilical venous endothelial cells either subjected to oscillatory shear stress or treated with the PKA (protein kinase A)/CREB (cAMP response element-binding protein) inhibitor H89 (N-[2-(p-bromocinnamylamino)ethyl]-5-isoquinolinesulfonamide·2HCl hydrate). Further studies using the partial carotid artery ligation model showed that disturbed flow in the left carotid artery of Sema7A +/+ ApoE -/- mice promoted the expression of endothelial Sema7A and cell adhesion molecules, leukocyte adhesion, and plaque formation, whereas such changes were attenuated in Sema7A -/- ApoE -/- mice. Further studies showed that blockage of β1 integrin, a known Sema7A receptor, or inhibition of FAK (focal adhesion kinase), MEK1/2 (mitogen-Activated protein kinase kinase 1/2), or NF-κB (nuclear factor-κB) significantly reduced the expression of cell adhesion molecules and THP-1 (human acute monocytic leukemia cell line) monocyte adhesion in Sema7A-overexpressing human umbilical venous endothelial cells. Studies using chimeric mice suggest that vascular, most likely endothelial, Sema7A plays a major role in atherogenesis. Conclusions-Our findings indicate a significant role of Sema7A in atherosclerosis by mediating endothelial dysfunction in a β1 integrin-dependent manner.

Copyright information:

© 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.

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