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Circ Res. 1999 May 14;84(9):1085-94.

Very low-density lipoprotein activates nuclear factor-kappaB in endothelial cells.

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Wallenberg Laboratory, Department of Medicine, University of Lund, Malmö University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden.


High plasma levels of VLDL are associated with increased risk for atherosclerosis. Here we show that VLDL (75 to 150 microg/mL) activates nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), a transcription factor known to play a key role in regulation of inflammation. Oxidation of VLDL reduced its capacity to activate NF-kappaB in vitro, whereas free fatty acids such as linoleic and oleic acid activated NF-kappaB to the same extent as did VLDL. Intravenous injection of human VLDL (6 mg protein per kg) into rats resulted in arterial activation of NF-kappaB as assessed by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. Aortic endothelial cells showed positive nuclear staining for the activated RelA (p65) subunit of NF-kappaB at 6 to 24 hours after injection. There was also a parallel expression of the adhesion molecules intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, as well as the cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Pretreatment of the rats with diet containing 1% of the antioxidant probucol for 8 weeks did not inhibit arterial activation of NF-kappaB in response to injection of VLDL. Moreover, injection of triglycerides (10% Intralipid, 5 mL/kg) activated arterial expression of NF-kappaB to the same extent as VLDL. Our results suggest that VLDL may promote the development of atherosclerotic lesions by activation of the proinflammatory transcription factor NF-kappaB. The effect appears to be mediated by a release of VLDL fatty acids but not to involve VLDL oxidation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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