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J Nutr Biochem. 2011 Sep;22(9):807-11. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2010.09.013. Epub 2011 Feb 2.

Caveolae: a regulatory platform for nutritional modulation of inflammatory diseases.

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  • 1Molecular and Cell Nutrition Laboratory, College of Agriculture, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 60536, USA.


Dietary intervention strategies have proven to be an effective means of decreasing several risk factors associated with the development of atherosclerosis. Endothelial cell dysfunction influences vascular inflammation and is involved in promoting the earliest stages of lesion formation. Caveolae are lipid raft microdomains abundant within the plasma membrane of endothelial cells and are responsible for modulating receptor-mediated signal transduction, thus influencing endothelial activation. Caveolae have been implicated in the regulation of enzymes associated with several key signaling pathways capable of determining intracellular redox status. Diet and plasma-derived nutrients may modulate an inflammatory outcome by interacting with and altering caveolae-associated cellular signaling. For example, omega-3 fatty acids and several polyphenolics have been shown to improve endothelial cell function by decreasing the formation of ROS and increasing NO bioavailability, events associated with altered caveolae composition. Thus, nutritional modulation of caveolae-mediated signaling events may provide an opportunity to ameliorate inflammatory signaling pathways capable of promoting the formation of vascular diseases, including atherosclerosis.

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