Atherosclerosis is considered both a metabolic and inflammatory disease; however, the specific tissue and signaling molecules that instigate and propagate this disease remain unclear. The liver is a central site of inflammation and lipid metabolism that is critical for atherosclerosis, and JAK2 is a key mediator of inflammation and, more recently, of hepatic lipid metabolism. However, precise effects of hepatic Jak2 on atherosclerosis remain unknown. We show here that hepatic Jak2 deficiency in atherosclerosis-prone mouse models exhibited accelerated atherosclerosis with increased plaque macrophages and decreased plaque smooth muscle cell content. JAK2’s essential role in growth hormone signalling in liver that resulted in reduced IGF-1 with hepatic Jak2 deficiency played a causal role in exacerbating atherosclerosis. As such, restoring IGF-1 either pharmacologically or genetically attenuated atherosclerotic burden. Together, our data show hepatic Jak2 to play a protective role in atherogenesis through actions mediated by circulating IGF-1 and, to our knowledge, provide a novel liver-centric mechanism in atheroprotection.
Tharini Sivasubramaniyam, Stephanie A. Schroer, Angela Li, Cynthia T. Luk, Sally Yu Shi, Rickvinder Besla, David W. Dodington, Adam H. Metherel, Alex P. Kitson, Jara J. Brunt, Joshua Lopes, Kay-Uwe Wagner, Richard P. Bazinet, Michelle P. Bendeck, Clinton S. Robbins, Minna Woo