A potential contribution of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 by the mediation of monocyte differentiation in the development and progression of abdominal aortic aneurysms

Hsin Ying Lu, Chun Yao Huang, Chun Ming Shih, Yi Wen Lin, Chein Sung Tsai, Feng Yen Lin, Chun Che Shih*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) are characterized by the destruction of elastin and collagen in the media and adventitia. Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4, an adipokine known as CD26) influences cell signaling, cell-matrix interactions, and the regulation of the functional activity of incretins in metabolic and inflammatory disorders. Although the role of DPP-4 in AAA evolution has been demonstrated, the underlying mechanisms of DPP-4-regulated AAA development remains unknown. Methods Patients with AAA (n = 93) and healthy controls (CTL, n = 20) were recruited. Based on computed tomography image analyses, 93 patients were divided into two groups: those with a small AAA (SAA, aortic diameter <5 cm, n = 16) and those with a large AAA (LAA, aortic diameter ≥5 cm, n = 77). Plasma DPP-4, glucagon-like peptide-1 levels, and expression of CD26 on mononuclear cells were analyzed. In addition, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA)-induced THP-1 cells and angiotensin II-infused apolipoprotein EtmlUnc mice were used to explore the underlying mechanisms. Results The levels of DPP-4 (μU/μg) increased while active glucagon-like peptide-1 (pM) decreased in patients with AAA in a diameter-dependent manner [CTL: 2.3 ± 1.5 and 3.7 ± 2.4, respectively; SAA: 10.0 ± 10.9 and 2.1 ± 0.9, respectively; LAA: 32.2 ± 15.0 and 1.8 ± 1.1, respectively]. A significant decline in monocyte CD26 expression in patients with AAAs was observed relative to the CTL group. In vitro studies demonstrated that the inhibition of DPP-4 promoted PMA-induced monocytic cells differentiation, with increased CD68 and p21 expression, regulated by extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 1/2 activation. Furthermore, inhibition of DPP-4 significantly increased the phosphorylation of PYK2 and paxillin in PMA-induced THP-1 cell differentiation. Finally, the animal study was used to confirm the in vitro results that LAA mice showed marked macrophage infiltration in the adventitia with a decreased expression of DPP-4 as compared with SAA mice. Conclusions Increased plasma DPP-4 activity may correlate with aneurysmal development. CD26 on monocytes plays a critical role in cell differentiation, possibly mediated by extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 1/2-p21 axis signaling pathways and cytoskeletal proteins reassembly. Exploring the role of DPP-4 further may yield potential therapeutic insights. Clinical Relevance Despite the multifunctional dipeptidyl peptidase-4 in pathophysiological process, its role in abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) development is not well understood. We investigated the relative intensities of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 in association with AAA growth. Moreover, this study has shown that a decrease in CD26 expression of monocyte population in patients with AAA responds to monocyte-macrophage differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1217-1226.e1
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2017


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