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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2006 Nov;26(11):2490-6. Epub 2006 Aug 24.

The unfolded protein response is an important regulator of inflammatory genes in endothelial cells.

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UCLA Department of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1679, USA.



Oxidized 1-palmitoyl-2-arachidonyl-sn-3-glycero-phosphorylcholine (oxPAPC) accumulates in atherosclerotic lesions and in vitro studies suggest that it mediates chronic inflammatory response in endothelial cells (ECs). The goal of our studies was to identify pathways mediating the induction of inflammatory genes by oxPAPC.


Using expression arrays, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and immunoblotting we demonstrate that oxPAPC leads to endoplasmic reticulum stress and activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR) in human aortic ECs. Immunohistochemistry analysis of human atherosclerotic lesions indicated that UPR is induced in areas containing oxidized phospholipids. Using the UPR inducing agent tunicamycin and selective siRNA targeting of the ATF4 and XBP1 branches of the UPR, we demonstrate that these transcription factors are essential mediators of IL8, IL6, and MCP1 expression in human aortic ECs required for maximal inflammatory gene expression in the basal state and after oxPAPC treatment. We also identify a novel oxPAPC-induced chemokine, the CXC motif ligand 3 (CXCL3), and show that its expression requires XBP1.


These data suggest that the UPR pathway is a general mediator of vascular inflammation and EC dysfunction in atherosclerosis, and, likely, other inflammatory disorders.

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