Supplementary Material for: β-Sarcoglycan Deficiency Reduces Atherosclerotic Plaque Development in ApoE-Null Mice

<p><b><i>Background:</i></b> Smooth muscle cells are important for atherosclerotic plaque stability. Their proper ability to communicate with the extracellular matrix is crucial for maintaining the correct tissue integrity. In this study, we have investigated the role of β-sarcoglycan within the matrix-binding dystrophin-glycoprotein complex in the development of atherosclerosis. <b><i>Results:</i></b> Atherosclerotic plaque development was significantly reduced in ApoE-deficient mice lacking β-sarcoglycan, and their plaques contained an increase in differentiated smooth muscle cells. ApoE-deficient mice lacking β-sarcoglycan showed a reduction in ovarian adipose tissue and adipocyte size, while the total weight of the animals was not significantly different. Western blot analysis of adipose tissues showed a decreased activation of protein kinase B, while that of AMP-activated kinase was increased in mice lacking β-sarcoglycan. Analysis of plasma in β-sarcoglycan-deficient mice revealed reduced levels of leptin, adiponectin, insulin, cholesterol, and triglycerides but increased levels of IL-6, IL-17, and TNF-α. <b><i>Conclusions:</i></b> Our results indicate that the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex and β-sarcoglycan can affect the atherosclerotic process. Furthermore, the results show the effects of β-sarcoglycan deficiency on adipose tissue and lipid metabolism, which may also have contributed to the atherosclerotic plaque reduction.</p>