Activation of phospholipase A2 and MAP kinases by oxidized low-density lipoproteins in immortalized GP8.39 endothelial cells

Gabriella Lupo, Ambra Nicotra, Giovanni Giurdanella, Carmelina Daniela Anfuso, Loriana Romeo, Giulia Biondi, Cataldo Tirolo, Bianca Marchetti, Nicolò Ragusa, Mario Alberghina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In immortalized rat brain endothelial cells (GP8.39), we have previously shown that oxidized LDL (oxLDL), after 24-h treatment, stimulates arachidonic acid release and phosphatidylcholine hydrolysis by activation of cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2). A putative role for MAPKs in this process has emerged. Here, we studied the contribution of Ca 2+-independent phospholipase A2 (iPLA2), and the role of the MAP kinase family as well as both cPLA2 and iPLA 2 mRNA expression by RT-PCR in oxLDL toxicity to GP8.39 cells in vitro. The activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases ERK1/2, p38 and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) was assessed with Western blotting and kinase activity assays. iPLA2 activity, which was found as a membrane-associated enzyme, was more stimulated by oxLDL compared with native LDL. The phosphorylation of ERK1/2, p38 and JNKs was also significantly enhanced in a dose-dependent manner. PD98059, an ERK inhibitor, SB203580, a p38 inhibitor, and SP600125, an JNK inhibitor, abolished the stimulation of all three members of the MAPK family by oxLDL. Confocal microscopy analysis and subcellular fractionation confirmed either an increase in phosphorylated form of ERKs, p38 and JNKs, or their nuclear translocation upon activation. A strong inhibition of MAPK activation was also observed when endothelial cells were treated with GF109203X, a PKC inhibitor, indicating the important role of both PKC and all three MAPKs in mediating the maximal oxLDL response. Finally, compared with samples untreated or treated with native LDL, treatment with oxLDL (100 μM hydroperoxides) for 24 h significantly increased the levels of constitutively expressed iPLA2 protein (by 5.1-fold) and mRNA (by 3.1-fold), as well as cPLA2 protein (by 4.4-fold) and mRNA (by 1.5-fold). Together, these data link the stimulation of PKC-ERK-p38-JNK pathways and PLA2 activity by oxLDL to the prooxidant mechanism of the lipoprotein complex, which may initially stimulate the endothelial cell reaction against noxious stimuli as well as metabolic repair, such as during inflammation and atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-150
Number of pages16
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2005


  • Endothelial cell
  • Low-density lipoprotein
  • MAP kinase
  • mRNA
  • Phospholipase A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biophysics


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