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Cardiovasc Res. 2013 Apr 1;98(1):116-24. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvt002. Epub 2013 Jan 17.

Electrophilic nitro-fatty acids inhibit vascular inflammation by disrupting LPS-dependent TLR4 signalling in lipid rafts.

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Cardiovascular Center, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical Center, North Campus Research Complex Building 26 Room 355S, 2800 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.



Electrophilic fatty acid nitroalkene derivatives, products of unsaturated fatty acid nitration, exert long-term cardiovascular protection in experimental models of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. The goal of this study is to examine the effects of nitro-fatty acids in the regulation of upstream signalling events in nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation and determine whether low-dose acute administration of nitro-fatty acids reduces vascular inflammation in vivo.


Using NF-κB-luciferase transgenic mice, it was determined that pre-emptive treatment with nitro-oleic acid (OA-NO2), but not oleic acid (OA) inhibits lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced NF-κB activation both in vivo and in isolated macrophages. Acute intravenous administration of OA-NO2 was equally effective to inhibit leukocyte recruitment to the vascular endothelium assessed by intravital microscopy and significantly reduces aortic expression of adhesion molecules. An acute treatment with OA-NO2 in vivo yielding nanomolar concentrations in plasma, is sufficient to inhibit LPS-induced Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-induced cell surface expression in leukocytes and NF-κB activation. In vitro experiments reveal that OA-NO2 suppresses LPS-induced TLR4 signalling, inhibitor of κB (IκBα) phosphorylation and ubiquitination, phosphorylation of the IκB kinase (IKK), impairing the recruitment of the TLR4 and TNF receptor associated factor 6 (TRAF6) to the lipid rafts compartments.


These studies demonstrate that acute administration of nitro-fatty acids is effective to reduce vascular inflammation in vivo. These findings reveal a direct role of nitro-fatty acids in the disruption of the TLR4 signalling complex in lipid rafts, upstream events of the NF-κB pathway, leading to resolution of pro-inflammatory activation of NF-κB in the vasculature.

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