CCL4 inhibition in atherosclerosis: Effects on plaque stability, endothelial cell adhesiveness, and macrophages activation

Ting Ting Chang, Hsin Ying Yang, Ching Chen, Jaw Wen Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Atherosclerosis is an arterial inflammatory disease. The circulating level of the C-C chemokine ligand (CCL4) is increased in atherosclerotic patients. This study aimed to investigate whether CCL4 inhibition could retard the progression of atherosclerosis. In ApoE knockout mice, CCL4 antibody treatment reduced circulating interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α levels and improved lipid profiles accompanied with upregulation of the liver X receptor. CCL4 inhibition reduced the atheroma areas and modified the progression of atheroma plaques, which consisted of a thicker fibrous cap with a reduced macrophage content and lower matrix metalloproteinase-2 and-9 expressions, suggesting the stabilization of atheroma plaques. Human coronary endothelial cells (HCAECs) and macrophages were stimulated with TNF-α or oxidized LDL (ox-LDL). The induced expression of E-selectin, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) were attenuated by the CCL4 antibody or CCL4 si-RNA. CCL4 inhibition reduced the adhesiveness of HCAECs, which is an early sign of atherogenesis. CCL4 blockade reduced the activity of metalloproteinase-2 and-9 and the production of TNF-α and IL-6 in stimulated macrophages. The effects of CCL4 inhibition on down-regulating adhesion and inflammation proteins were obtained through the nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB) signaling pathway. The direct inhibition of CCL4 stabilized atheroma and reduced endothelial and macrophage activation. CCL4 may be a novel therapeutic target for modulating atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6567
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal Of Molecular Sciences
Issue number18
StatePublished - 2 Sep 2020


  • Adhesion molecule
  • Atherogenesis
  • Atheroma
  • Atherosclerosis
  • CCL4
  • Inflammation


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