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J Mol Med (Berl). 2011 Feb;89(2):151-60. doi: 10.1007/s00109-010-0690-6. Epub 2010 Oct 24.

Down-regulation of endothelial TLR4 signalling after apo A-I gene transfer contributes to improved survival in an experimental model of lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation.

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Department of Cardiology & Pneumology, Charité-University-Medicine Berlin, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Hindenburgdamm 30, 12200, Berlin, Germany.


The protective effects of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) under lipopolysaccharide (LPS) conditions have been well documented. Here, we investigated whether an effect of HDL on Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) expression and signalling may contribute to its endothelial-protective effects and to improved survival in a mouse model of LPS-induced inflammation and lethality. HDL cholesterol increased 1.7-fold (p<0.005) and lung endothelial TLR4 expression decreased 8.4-fold (p<0.005) 2 weeks after apolipoprotein (apo) A-I gene transfer. Following LPS administration in apo A-I gene transfer mice, lung TLR4 and lung MyD88 mRNA expression, reflecting TLR4 signalling, were 3.0-fold (p<0.05) and 2.1-fold (p<0.05) lower, respectively, than in LPS control mice. Concomitantly, LPS-induced lung neutrophil infiltration, lung oedema and mortality were significantly attenuated following apo A-I transfer. In vitro, supplementation of HDL or apo A-I to human microvascular endothelial cells-1 24 h before LPS administration reduced TLR4 expression, as assessed by fluorescent-activated cell sorting, and decreased the LPS-induced MyD88 mRNA expression and NF-κB activity, independently of LPS binding. In conclusion, HDL reduces TLR4 expression and signalling in endothelial cells, which may contribute significantly to the protective effects of HDL in LPS-induced inflammation and lethality.

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