Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.482, No.1, 93-99, 2017
Gly-humanin inhibits ox-LDL uptake and stimulates cholesterol efflux in macrophage-derived foam cells
Foam cell formation, which is caused by imbalanced cholesterol influx and efflux by macrophages, plays a vital role in the occurrence and development of atherosclerosis. Humanin (HN), a mitochondria-derived peptide, can prevent the production of reactive oxygen species and death of human aortic endothelial cells exposed to oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) and has a protective effect on patients with in early atherosclerosis. However, the effects of HN on the regulation of cholesterol metabolism in RAW 264.7 macrophages are still unknown. This study was designed to investigate the role of [G1y14]humanin (HNG) in lipid uptake and cholesterol efflux in RAW 264.7 macrophages. Flow cytometry and live cell imaging results showed that HNG reduced Dil-ox-LDL accumulation in the RAW 264.7 macrophages. A similar result was obtained for lipid accumulation by measuring cellular cholesterol content. Western blot analysis showed that ox-LDL treatment upregulated not only the protein expression of CD36 and LOX-1, which mediate ox-LDL endocytosis, but also ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter A1 and ABCG1, which mediate ox-LDL exflux. HNG pretreatment inhibited the upregulation of CD36 and LOX-1 levels, prompting the upregulation of ABCA1 and ABCG1 levels induced by ox-LDL. Therefore we concluded that HNG could inhibit ox-LDL-induced macrophage-derived foam cell formation, which occurs because of a decrease in lipid uptake and an increase in cholesterol efflux from macrophage cells. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.