Objective: Oxidized low-density lipoproteins (ox-LDL) or their components suppress macrophage inflammatory response by down-regulating cytokine synthesis, nitric oxide synthase and inducible cyclooxygenase (Cox-2). This event is crucial for the pathophysiological process leading to the formation of atherosclerotic plaque. Our present study focused on the mechanisms through which oxidized phospholipids inhibit LPS-induced Cox-2 expression in human macrophages. Methods: Macrophages were incubated with a mixture of oxidized fragmented phospholipids (ox-PAPC), present in modified LDL, and then exposed to LPS. Cox-2 was evaluated in terms of protein levels, mRNA and activity. Results: Ox-PAPC dose-dependently inhibited Cox-2 protein, mRNA and activity by preventing NF-κB binding to DNA. This effect was consequent to alterations of the degradation pattern of IκBα. Moreover, ox-PAPC markedly prevented extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK2) activation, leading to Cox-2 expression, whereas activation of the transcription factor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) was not influenced. Conclusion: ox-PAPC down-regulates LPS-induced Cox-2 expression in human macrophages by targeting both NF-κB/IκB and ERK2 pathways. An altered inflammatory response by macrophages within atheromata may contribute to the progression of atherosclerosis.
- Signal transduction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine