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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2007 Mar;9(3):301-7.

Effects of PGC-1alpha on TNF-alpha-induced MCP-1 and VCAM-1 expression and NF-kappaB activation in human aortic smooth muscle and endothelial cells.

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Department of Microbiology, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, South Korea.


Increased oxidative stress in vascular cells is implicated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) induce vascular inflammation via the proinflammatory cytokine/NF-kappaB pathway. Several lines of evidence suggest that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1alpha) is an important regulator of intracellular ROS levels. However, no studies have examined the effects of PGC-1alpha on this process. We investigated the effects of PGC-1alpha on inflammatory molecule expression and activity of the redox-sensitive transcription factor, NF-kappaB, in vascular cells. PGC-1alpha expressed in human aortic smooth (HASMCs) and endothelial cells (HAECs) is upregulated by AMP-activated protein kinase activators, including metformin, rosiglitazone and alpha-lipoic acid. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), a major proinflammatory factor in the development of vascular inflammation, stimulates intracellular ROS production through an increase in both mitochondrial ROS and NAD(P)H oxidase activity. Adenovirus-mediated overexpression of the PGC-1alpha gene in HASMCs and HAECs leads to a significant reduction in intracellular and mitochondrial ROS production as well as NAD(P)H oxidase activity. Consequently, NF-kappaB activity and MCP-1 and VCAM-1 induced by TNF-alpha are suppressed. Our data support the possibility that agents stimulating PGC-1alpha expression in the vasculature aid in preventing the development of atherosclerosis.

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