PPARγ (Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor γ) Deacetylation Suppresses Aging-Associated Atherosclerosis and Hypercholesterolemia

Tarik Zahr, Longhua Liu, Michelle Chan, Qiuzhong Zhou, Bishuang Cai, Ying He, Nicole Aaron, Domenico Accili, Lei Sun, Li Qiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Atherosclerosis is a medical urgency manifesting at the onset of hypercholesterolemia and is associated with aging. Activation of PPARγ (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ) counteracts metabolic dysfunction influenced by aging, and its deacetylation displays an atheroprotective property. Despite the marked increase of PPARγ acetylation during aging, it is unknown whether PPARγ acetylation is a pathogenic contributor to aging-associated atherosclerosis. Methods: Mice with constitutive deacetylation-mimetic PPARγ mutations on lysine residues K268 and K293 (2KR) in an LDL (low-density lipoprotein)-receptor knockout (Ldlr-/-) background (2KR:Ldlr-/-) were aged for 18 months on a standard laboratory diet to examine the cardiometabolic phenotype, which was confirmed in Western-type diet-fed 2KR:Ldlr+/-mice. Whole-liver RNA-sequencing and in vitro studies in bone marrow-derived macrophages were conducted to decipher the mechanism. Results: In contrast to severe atherosclerosis in WT:Ldlr-/-mice, aged 2KR:Ldlr-/-mice developed little to no plaque, which was underlain by a significantly improved plasma lipid profile, with particular reductions in circulating LDL. The protection from hypercholesterolemia was recapitulated in Western-type diet-fed 2KR:Ldlr+/-mice. Liver RNA-sequencing analysis revealed suppression of liver inflammation rather than changes in cholesterol metabolism. This anti-inflammatory effect of 2KR was attributed to polarized M2 activation of macrophages. Additionally, the upregulation of core circadian component Bmal1 (brain and muscle ARNT-like 1), perceived to be involved in anti-inflammatory immunity, was observed in the liver and bone marrow-derived macrophages. Conclusions: PPARγ deacetylation in mice prevents the development of aging-associated atherosclerosis and hypercholesterolemia, in association with the anti-inflammatory phenotype of 2KR macrophages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-44
Number of pages15
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • aging
  • atherosclerosis
  • cardiovascular disease
  • hypercholesterolemia
  • inflammation


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