AIMS - Increased lipid peroxidation occurs in many conditions associated with inflammation. Because lipid peroxidation produces lipid aldehydes that can induce inflammatory responses through unknown mechanisms, elucidating these mechanisms may lead to development of better treatments for inflammatory diseases. We recently demonstrated that exposure of cultured cells to lipid aldehydes such as isolevuglandins (IsoLG) results in the modification of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE). We therefore sought to determine (i) whether PE modification by isolevuglandins (IsoLG-PE) occurred in vivo, (ii) whether IsoLG-PE stimulated the inflammatory responses of macrophages, and (iii) the identity of receptors mediating the inflammatory effects of IsoLG-PE.
RESULTS - IsoLG-PE levels were elevated in plasma of patients with familial hypercholesterolemia and in the livers of mice fed a high-fat diet to induce obesity and hepatosteatosis. IsoLG-PE potently stimulated nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB) activation and expression of inflammatory cytokines in macrophages. The effects of IsoLG-PE were blocked by the soluble form of the receptor for advanced glycation endproducts (sRAGE) and by RAGE antagonists. Furthermore, macrophages derived from the bone marrow of Ager null mice failed to express inflammatory cytokines in response to IsoLG-PE to the same extent as macrophages from wild-type mice.
INNOVATION - These studies are the first to identify IsoLG-PE as a mediator of macrophage activation and a specific receptor, RAGE, which mediates its biological effects.
CONCLUSION - PE modification by IsoLG forms RAGE ligands that activate macrophages, so that the increased IsoLG-PE generated by high circulating cholesterol levels or high-fat diet may play a role in the inflammation associated with these conditions.