12(S)-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid downregulates monocyte-derived macrophage efferocytosis: New insights in atherosclerosis

Chiara Maria Manega, Susanna Fiorelli, Benedetta Porro, Linda Turnu, Viviana Cavalca, Alice Bonomi, Nicola Cosentino, Alessandro Di Minno, Giancarlo Marenzi, Elena Tremoli, Sonia Eligini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The involvement of 12(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (12(S)-HETE), a 12-lipooxygenase product of arachidonic acid, has been suggested in atherosclerosis. However, its effect on macrophage functions is not completely understood, so far. The uptake of apoptotic cells (efferocytosis)by macrophages is an anti-inflammatory process, impaired in advanced atherosclerotic lesions. This process induces the release of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10), and it is regulated by Rho-GTPases, whose activation involves the isoprenylation, a modification inhibited by statins. We assessed 12-HETE levels in serum of coronary artery disease (CAD)patients, and explored 12(S)-HETE in vitro effect on monocyte-derived macrophage (MDM)efferocytosis. Sixty-four CAD patients and 24 healthy subjects (HS)were enrolled. Serum 12-HETE levels were measured using a tandem mass spectrometry method. MDMs, obtained from a spontaneous differentiation of adherent monocytes, were treated with 12(S)-HETE (10–50 ng/mL). Efferocytosis and RhoA activation were evaluated by flow cytometry. IL-10 was measured by ELISA. CAD patients showed increased 12-HETE serum levels compared to HS (665.2 [438.1–896.2]ng/mL and 525.1 [380.1–750.1]ng/mL, respectively, p < 0.05)and reduced levels of IL-10. MDMs expressed the 12(S)-HETE cognate receptor GPR31. CAD-derived MDMs displayed defective efferocytosis vs HS-MDMs (9.4 [7.7–11.3]% and 11.1 [9.6–14.1]% of MDMs that have engulfed apoptotic cells, respectively, p < 0.01). This reduction is marked in MDMs obtained from patients not treated with statin (9.3 [7.4–10.6]% statin-free CAD vs HS, p = 0.01; and 9.9 [8.6–11.6]% statin-treated CAD vs HS, p = 0.07). The in vitro treatment of MDMs with 12(S)-HETE (20 ng/mL)induced 20% decrease of efferocytosis (p < 0.01)and 71% increase of RhoA activated form (p < 0.05). Atorvastatin (0.1 μM)counteracted these 12(S)-HETE-mediated effects.These results show a 12(S)-HETE pro-inflammatory effect and suggest a new potential contribution of this mediator in the development of atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-342
Number of pages7
JournalPharmacological Research
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • 12-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid
  • Atorvastatin
  • Efferocytosis
  • Human macrophages
  • RhoA-GTPase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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