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Atherosclerosis. 2009 Apr;203(2):417-28. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2008.07.029. Epub 2008 Aug 5.

IFN-gamma down-regulates ABCA1 expression by inhibiting LXRalpha in a JAK/STAT signaling pathway-dependent manner.

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  • 1Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Life Science Research Center, University of South China, Nanhua University, Hengyang, Hunan, China.

Abstract

Interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) is an immunomodulatory and anti-microbial cytokine, which has a variety of proatherogenic effects. It has been reported that IFN-gamma can down-regulate ABCA1 expression. However, its mechanism is elusive. In the present study, we have investigated the effect of IFN-gamma on ABCA1 expression and cholesterol efflux in THP-1 macrophage-derived foam cells. IFN-gamma decreased ABCA1 expression at both transcriptional and translational levels in a dose-dependent manner. Cellular cholesterol content was increased while cholesterol efflux was decreased by IFN-gamma treatment. Liver X receptor alpha (LXRalpha), which can regulate the expression of ABCA1, was also down-regulated by IFN-gamma treatment. LXRalpha-specific activation by LXRalpha agonist almost compensated the down-regulation of ABCA1 expression by IFN-gamma, while siRNA of LXRalpha led to down-regulation of ABCA1 expression more significantly than IFN-gamma. IFN-gamma induced phosphorylation of STAT1 and expression of STAT1alpha in the nucleus, which was inhibited by a JAK inhibitor AG-490. Treatment with STAT1 siRNA further enhanced down-regulation of LXRalpha mRNA by IFN-gamma. Furthermore, AG-490 and STAT1 siRNA almost compensated the effect of IFN-gamma on ABCA1 expression and cholesterol efflux. In conclusion, IFN-gamma may first down-regulate expression of LXRalpha through the JAK/STAT1 signaling pathway and then decrease expression of ABCA1 and cholesterol efflux in THP-1 macrophage-derived foam cells. Therefore, our study may be useful in understanding the critical effect of IFN-gamma in pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.

PMID:
18789440
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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