Most of the obesity-related complications are due to ectopic fat accumulation. Recently, the activation of the cell-surface receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) has been associated with lipid accumulation in different organs. Nevertheless, the role of RAGE and sRAGE, the soluble form that prevents ligands to activate RAGE, in intramyocardial lipid accumulation is presently unknown. To this aim, we analyzed whether, in obesity, intramyocardial lipid accumulation and lipid metabolism-related transcriptome are related to RAGE and sRAGE. Heart and serum samples were collected from 10 lean (L) and 10 obese (OB) Zucker rats. Oil red staining was used to detect lipids on frozen heart sections. The lipid metabolism-related transcriptome (84 genes) was analyzed by a specific PCR array. Heart RAGE expression was explored by real-time RT-PCR and Western blot analyses. Serum levels of sRAGE (total and endogenous secretory form (esRAGE)) were quantified by ELISA. Genes promoting fatty acid transport, activation, and oxidation in mitochondria/peroxisomes were upregulated in OB hearts. Intramyocardial lipid content did not differ between OB and L rats, as well as RAGE expression. A slight increase in epicardial adipose tissue was observed in OB hearts. Total sRAGE and esRAGE concentrations were significantly higher in OB rats. sRAGE may protect against obesity-induced intramyocardial lipid accumulation by preventing RAGE hyperexpression, therefore allowing lipids to be metabolized. EAT also played a protective role by working as a buffering system that protects the myocardium against exposure to excessively high levels of fatty acids. These observations reinforce the potential role of RAGE pathway as an interesting therapeutic target for obesity-related complications, at least at the cardiovascular level.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology