Tracking Monocyte Recruitment and Macrophage Accumulation in Atherosclerotic Plaque Progression Using a Novel hCD68GFP/ApoE-/- Reporter Mouse-Brief Report.
McNeill E., Iqbal AJ., Jones D., Patel J., Coutinho P., Taylor L., Greaves DR., Channon KM.
OBJECTIVE: To create a model of atherosclerosis using green fluorescent protein (GFP)-targeted monocytes/macrophages, allowing analysis of both endogenous GFP+ and adoptively transferred GFP+ myeloid cells in arterial inflammation. APPROACH AND RESULTS: hCD68GFP reporter mice were crossed with ApoE-/- mice. Expression of GFP was localized to macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques and in angiotensin II-induced aortic aneurysms and correlated with galectin 3 and mCD68 expression. Flow cytometry confirmed GFP+ expression in CD11b+/CD64+, CD11c+/MHC-IIHI, and CD11b+/F4/80+ myeloid cells. Adoptive transfer of GFP+ monocytes demonstrated monocyte recruitment to both adventitia and atherosclerotic plaque, throughout the aortic root, within 72 hours. We demonstrated the biological utility of hCD68GFP monocytes by comparing the recruitment of wild-type and CCR2-/- monocytes to sites of inflammation. CONCLUSIONS: hCD68GFP/ApoE-/- mice provide a new approach to study macrophage accumulation in atherosclerotic plaque progression and to identify cells recruited from adoptively transferred monocytes.