OBJECTIVE: Animal models of atherosclerosis are used extensively to interrogate molecular mechanisms in serial fashion. We tested whether a novel systems biology approach to integration of preclinical data identifies novel pathways and regulators in human disease. APPROACH AND RESULTS: Of 716 articles published in ATVB from 1995 to 2019 using the apolipoprotein E knockout mouse to study atherosclerosis, data were extracted from 360 unique studies in which a gene was experimentally perturbed to impact plaque size or composition and analyzed using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software. TREM1 (triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells) signaling and LXR/RXR (liver X receptor/retinoid X receptor) activation were identified as the top atherosclerosis-associated pathways in mice (both P<1.93×10-4, TREM1 implicated early and LXR/RXR in late atherogenesis). The top upstream regulatory network in mice (sc-58125, a COX2 inhibitor) linked 64.0% of the genes into a single network. The pathways and networks identified in mice were interrogated by testing for associations between the genetically predicted gene expression of each mouse pathway-identified human homolog with clinical atherosclerosis in a cohort of 88 660 human subjects. Homologous human pathways and networks were significantly enriched for gene-atherosclerosis associations (empirical P<0.01 for TREM1 and LXR/RXR pathways and COX2 network). This included 12(60.0%) TREM1 pathway genes, 15(53.6%) LXR/RXR pathway genes, and 67(49.3%) COX2 network genes. Mouse analyses predicted, and human study validated, the strong association of COX2 expression (PTGS2) with increased likelihood of atherosclerosis (odds ratio, 1.68 per SD of genetically predicted gene expression; P=1.07×10-6). CONCLUSIONS: PRESCIANT (Preclinical Science Integration and Translation) leverages published preclinical investigations to identify high-confidence pathways, networks, and regulators of human disease.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2022|
- Gene expression
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine