Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA22:6n3), the principal n3-polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) in the retina, has been shown to have a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect in numerous in vivo and in vitro studies. Despite the importance of vascular inflammation in diabetic retinopathy, the anti-inflammatory role of DHA22:6n3 in cytokine-stimulated human retinal vascular endothelial cells (hRVECs) has not been addressed.
Cytokine-induced expression of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) was assessed by Western blot. The effect of DHA22:6n3 on cytokine-induced nuclear factor (NF)-κB signaling was analyzed by Western blot analysis and electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA).
Stimulation of hRVECs with VEGF165, TNFα, or IL-1β for 6 to 24 hours caused significant induction of intracellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1 expression. Pretreatment of the cells with 100 μM of BSA-bound DHA22:6n3 for 24 hours remarkably inhibited cytokine-induced CAM expression. IL-1β, TNFα, and VEGF165 induced nuclear translocation and binding of p65 and p50 NF-κB isoforms to the VCAM-1 promoter. DHA22:6n3 pretreatment inhibited cytokine-induced NF-κB binding by 25% to 40%. Moreover, DHA22:6n3 diminished IL-1β induced phosphorylation of the inhibitor of nuclear factor (NF)-κB (I-κBα), thus preventing its degradation.
IL-1β, TNFα, and VEGF165 induced CAM expression in hRVECs through activation of the NF-κB pathway. DHA22:6n3 inhibited cytokine induced CAM expression through suppression of NF-κB nuclear translocation and upstream I-κBα phosphorylation and degradation. DHA22:6n3 could be an important anti-inflammatory agent in the face of increased cytokine production and CAM expression in the diabetic retina.
DHA downregulates basal and cytokine-induced ASMase and NSMase activity in human retinal endothelial cells, and inhibition of sphingomyelinases in endothelial cells prevents cytokine-induced inflammatory response.
The authors have previously demonstrated that DHA inhibits cytokine-induced inflammation in human retinal endothelial cells (HRECs), the resident vasculature affected by diabetic retinopathy. However, the anti-inflammatory mechanism of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is still not well understood. Sphingolipids represent a major component of membrane microdomains, and ceramide-enriched microdomains appear to be a prerequisite for inflammatory cytokine signaling. Acid sphingomyelinase (ASMase) and neutral sphingomyelinase (NSMase) are key regulatory enzymes of sphingolipid metabolism, promoting sphingomyelin hydrolysis to proinflammatory ceramide. The authors address the hypothesis that DHA inhibits cytokine-induced inflammatory signaling in HRECs by downregulating sphingomyelinases.
ASMase and NSMase activity was determined by sphingomyelinase assay in primary cultures of HRECs. The expression of ASMase, NSMase, ICAM-1, and VCAM-1 was assessed by quantitative PCR and Western blot analysis. Gene silencing of ASMase and NSMase was obtained by siRNA treatment.
Inflammatory cytokines TNFα and IL-1β induced cellular adhesion molecule (CAM) expression and rapid increase in ASMase and NSMase activity in HRECs. DHA decreased basal and cytokine-induced ASMase and NSMase expression and activity and the upregulation of CAM expression. Anti-inflammatory effects of DHA on cytokine-induced CAM expression were mimicked by inhibition/gene silencing of ASMase and NSMase. The sphingomyelinase pathway rather than ceramide de novo synthesis pathway was important for inflammatory signaling in HRECs.
This study provides a novel potential mechanism for the anti-inflammatory effect of DHA in HRECs. DHA downregulates the basal and cytokine-induced ASMase and NSMase expression and activity level in HRECs, and inhibition of sphingomyelinases in endothelial cells prevents cytokine-induced inflammatory response.
The poorly understood mechanism by which ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) reduce the severity of ocular vasoproliferative disorders was investigated. The authors demonstrate that ω-3 PUFAs, in particular docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), can improve the nitroso-redox balance by modulating the production of nitric oxide and superoxide. In addition, they provide evidence that ω-3 PUFAs also blunt growth factor signaling and displace eNOS from caveolae microdomains. Results suggests a dual benefit of ω-3 PUFAs in the treatment of ocular diseases by maintaining the prosurvival effects of NO in the early degenerative phase of ischemic retinopathies and reducing the severity of VEGF-mediated signaling in the late proliferative phase.
Disturbances to the cellular production of nitric oxide (NO) and superoxide (O2−) can have deleterious effects on retinal vascular integrity and angiogenic signaling. Dietary agents that could modulate the production of these signaling molecules from their likely enzymatic sources, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and NADPH oxidase, would therefore have a major beneficial effect on retinal vascular disease. The effect of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on angiogenic signaling and NO/superoxide production in retinal microvascular endothelial cells (RMECs) was investigated.
Primary RMECs were treated with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) or eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) for 48 hours. RMEC migration was determined by scratch-wound assay, proliferation by the incorporation of BrdU, and angiogenic sprouting using a three-dimensional model of in vitro angiogenesis. NO production was quantified by Griess assay, and phospho-eNOS accumulation and superoxide were measured using the fluorescent probe dihydroethidine. eNOS localization to caveolin-rich microdomains was determined by Western blot analysis after subfractionation on a linear sucrose gradient.
DHA treatment increased nitrite and decreased superoxide production, which correlated with the displacement of eNOS from caveolar subdomains and colocalization with the negative regulator caveolin-1. In addition, both ω-3 PUFAs demonstrated reduced responsiveness to VEGF-stimulated superoxide and nitrite release and significantly impaired endothelial wound healing, proliferation, and angiogenic sprout formation.
DHA improves NO bioavailability, decreases O2− production, and blunts VEGF-mediated angiogenic signaling. These findings suggest a role for ω-3 PUFAs, particularly DHA, in maintaining vascular integrity while reducing pathologic retinal neovascularization.
The vasodegenerative phase of diabetic retinopathy is characterized by not only retinal vascular degeneration but also inadequate vascular repair due to compromised bone marrow derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). We propose that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) deficiency in diabetes results in activation of the central enzyme of sphingolipid metabolism, acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) and that ASM represents a molecular metabolic link connecting the initial damage in the retina and the dysfunction of EPCs.
Research Design and Methods
Type 2 diabetic rats on control or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-rich diet were studied. The number of acellular capillaries in the retinas was assessed by trypsin digest. mRNA levels of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, intracellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 in the retinas from diabetic animals were compared to controls and ASM protein was assessed by western analysis. EPCs were isolated from blood and bone marrow and their numbers and ability to form colonies in vitro, ASM activity and lipid profiles were determined.
DHA-rich diet prevented diabetes-induced increase in the number of retinal acellular capillaries and significantly enhanced the life span of type 2 diabetic animals. DHA-rich diet blocked upregulation of ASM and other inflammatory markers in diabetic retina and prevented the increase in ASM activity in EPCs, normalized the numbers of circulating EPCs and improved EPC colony formation.
In a type 2 diabetes animal model, DHA-rich diet fully prevented retinal vascular pathology through inhibition of ASM in both retina and EPCs, leading to a concomitant suppression of retinal inflammation and correction of EPC number and function.
The plasma membrane of all eukaryotic cells contain heterogeneous self organizing intrinsically unstable liquid ordered domains or lipid assemblies in which key signal transduction proteins are localized. These assemblies are classified as “lipid rafts” (10–200 nm), which are composed mostly of cholesterol and sphingolipid microdomains and therefore do not integrate well into the fluid phospholipid bilayers. In addition, caveolae represent a subtype of lipid raft macrodomain that form flask-shaped membrane invaginations containing structural proteins, i.e., caveolins. With respect to the diverse biological effects of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), increasing evidence suggests that n-3 PUFA and perhaps conjugated fatty acids uniquely alter the basic properties of cell membranes. Because of its polyunsaturation, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and possibly conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) are sterically incompatible with sphingolipid and cholesterol and, therefore, appear to alter lipid raft behavior and protein function. This review examines the evidence indicating that dietary sources of n-3 PUFA can profoundly alter the biochemical make up of lipid rafts/caveolae microdomains, thereby influencing cell signaling, protein trafficking, and cell cytokinetics.
membrane rafts; omega-3 fatty acids; conjugated fatty acids; microdomains
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which regulates cell growth and survival, is integral to colon tumorigenesis. Lipid rafts play a role in regulating EGFR signaling, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is known to perturb membrane domain organization through changes in lipid rafts. Therefore, we investigated the mechanistic link between EGFR function and DHA. Membrane incorporation of DHA into immortalized colonocytes altered the lateral organization of EGFR. DHA additionally increased EGFR phosphorylation but paradoxically suppressed downstream signaling. Assessment of the EGFR-Ras-ERK1/2 signaling cascade identified Ras GTP binding as the locus of the DHA-induced disruption of signal transduction. DHA also antagonized EGFR signaling capacity by increasing receptor internalization and degradation. DHA suppressed cell proliferation in an EGFR-dependent manner, but cell proliferation could be partially rescued by expression of constitutively active Ras. Feeding chronically-inflamed, carcinogen-injected C57BL/6 mice a fish oil containing diet enriched in DHA recapitulated the effects on the EGFR signaling axis observed in cell culture and additionally suppressed tumor formation. We conclude that DHA-induced alteration in both the lateral and subcellular localization of EGFR culminates in the suppression of EGFR downstream signal transduction, which has implications for the molecular basis of colon cancer prevention by DHA.
We recently generated nutritional data suggesting that chemoprotective dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) are capable of displacing acylated proteins from lipid raft microdomains in vivo (Ma et al., FASEB J. 18:1040, 2004; Fan et al., J. Immunol. 173:6151, 2004). A primary source of very long chain n-3 PUFA in the diet is derived from fish enriched with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3). In this study, we sought to determine the effect of DHA on cell surface microdomain organization in situ. Using immuno-gold electron microscopy of plasma membrane sheets coupled with spatial point analysis of validated microdomain markers, morphologically featureless microdomains were visualized in HeLa cells at high resolution. Clustering of probes within cholesterol-dependent (GFP-tH) versus cholesterol-independent (GFP-tK) nanoclusters was differentially sensitive to n-3 PUFA treatment of cells. Univariate K-function analysis of GFP-tH (5 nm gold) revealed a significant increase in clustering (p<0.05) by pre-treatment with DHA and linoleic acid (LA, 18:2Δ9,12) compared to control fatty acids; whereas LA significantly (p<0.05) reduced GFP-tK clustering. These novel data suggest that the plasma membrane organization of inner leaflets is fundamentally altered by PUFA-enrichment. We speculate that our findings may help define a new paradigm to better understand the complexity of n-3 PUFA modulation of signaling networks.
Dynamic domains; nanoclusters; omega-3 fatty acid; microdomains
Diabetic retinopathy is a major complication of dysregulated hyperglycemia. Retinal vascular endothelial cell dysfunction is an early event in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy. Studies showed that hyperglycemia-induced excess proliferation of retinal vascular endothelial cells can be abrogated by docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6 ω-3) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5 ω-3). The influence of dietary omega-3 PUFA on brain zinc metabolism has been previously implied. Zn2+ is essential for the activity of Δ6 desaturase as a co-factor that, in turn, converts essential fatty acids to their respective long chain metabolites. Whether essential fatty acids (EFAs) α-linolenic acid and linoleic acid have similar beneficial effect remains poorly understood.
RF/6A cells were treated with different concentrations of high glucose, α-linolenic acid and linoleic acid and Zn2+. The alterations in mitochondrial succinate dehydrogenase enzyme activity, cell membrane fluidity, reactive oxygen species generation, SOD enzyme and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion were evaluated.
Studies showed that hyperglycemia-induced excess proliferation of retinal vascular endothelial cells can be abrogated by both linoleic acid (LA) and α-linolenic acid (ALA), while the saturated fatty acid, palmitic acid was ineffective. A dose–response study with ALA showed that the activity of the mitochondrial succinate dehydrogenase enzyme was suppressed at all concentrations of glucose tested to a significant degree. High glucose enhanced fluorescence polarization and microviscocity reverted to normal by treatment with Zn2+ and ALA. ALA was more potent that Zn2+. Increased level of high glucose caused slightly increased ROS generation that correlated with corresponding decrease in SOD activity. ALA suppressed ROS generation to a significant degree in a dose dependent fashion and raised SOD activity significantly. ALA suppressed high-glucose-induced VEGF secretion by RF/6A cells.
These results suggest that EFAs such as ALA and LA may have beneficial action in the prevention of high glucose-induced cellular damage.
α-linolenic acid; Diabetic retinopathy; Oxidative stress; Membrane fluidity
Numerous studies on perinatal long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid nutrition have clarified the influence of dietary docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA) on central nervous system PUFA concentrations. In humans, omnivorous primates, and piglets, DHA and ARA plasma and red blood cells concentrations rise with dietary preformed DHA and ARA. Brain and retina DHA are responsive to diet while ARA is not. DHA is at highest concentration cells and tissues associated with high energy consumption, consistent with high DHA levels in mitochondria and synaptosomes. DHA is a substrate for docosanoids, signaling compounds of intense current interest. The high concentration in tissues with high rates of oxidative metabolism may be explained by a critical role related to oxidative metabolism.
Enrichment of polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n–3), in the brain is known to be critical for optimal brain development and function. Mechanisms for DHA’s beneficial effects in the nervous system are not clearly understood at present. DHA is incorporated into the phospholipids in neuronal membranes, which in turn can influence not only the membrane chemical and physical properties but also the cell signaling involved in neuronal survival, proliferation and differentiation. Our studies have indicated that DHA supplementation promotes phosphatidylserine (PS) accumulation and inhibits neuronal cell death under challenged conditions, supporting a notion that DHA is an important neuroprotective agent. This article summarizes our findings on the DHA-mediated membrane-related signaling mechanisms that might explain some of the beneficial effects of DHA, particularly on neuronal survival.
Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) is an important early responder in inflammatory cytokine signaling. The role of ASM in retinal vascular inflammation and vessel loss associated with diabetic retinopathy is not known and represents the goal of this study.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Protein and gene expression profiles were determined by quantitative RT-PCR and Western blot. ASM activity was determined using Amplex Red sphingomyelinase assay. Caveolar lipid composition was analyzed by nano-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Streptozotocin-induced diabetes and retinal ischemia-reperfusion models were used in in vivo studies.
We identify endothelial caveolae-associated ASM as an essential component in mediating inflammation and vascular pathology in in vivo and in vitro models of diabetic retinopathy. Human retinal endothelial cells (HREC), in contrast with glial and epithelial cells, express the plasma membrane form of ASM that overlaps with caveolin-1. Treatment of HREC with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) specifically reduces expression of the caveolae-associated ASM, prevents a tumor necrosis factor-α–induced increase in the ceramide-to-sphingomyelin ratio in the caveolae, and inhibits cytokine-induced inflammatory signaling. ASM is expressed in both vascular and neuroretina; however, only vascular ASM is specifically increased in the retinas of animal models at the vasodegenerative phase of diabetic retinopathy. The absence of ASM in ASM−/− mice or inhibition of ASM activity by DHA prevents acellular capillary formation.
This is the first study demonstrating activation of ASM in the retinal vasculature of diabetic retinopathy animal models. Inhibition of ASM could be further explored as a potential therapeutic strategy in treating diabetic retinopathy.
The apoptotic effects of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and other ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been documented in cell and animal studies. The molecular mechanism by which DHA induces apoptosis is unclear. Although there is no direct evidence, some studies have suggested that DNA damage generated through lipid peroxidation may be involved. Our previous studies showed that DHA, because it is high degree of unsaturation, can give rise to the acrolein-derived 1,N2-propanodeoxyguanosine (Acr-dG) as a major class of DNA adducts via lipid oxidation. As a first step to investigate the possible role of oxidative DNA damage in apoptosis induced by DHA, we examined the relationships between oxidative DNA damage and apoptosis caused by DHA in human colon cancer HT-29 cells. The apoptosis and oxidative DNA damage, including Acr-dG and 8-oxo-deoxyguanosine (8-oxo-dG) formation, in cells treated with DHA and ω-6 PUFAs, including arachidonic acid (AA) and linoleic acid (LA), were measured. DHA induced apoptosis in a dose- and time-dependent manner with a concentration range from 0 to 300 µM as indicated by increased caspase-3 activity and PARP cleavage. In contrast, AA and LA had little or no effect at these concentrations. The Acr-dG levels were increased in HT-29 cells treated with DHA at 240 and 300µM, and the increases were correlated with the induction of apoptosis at these concentrations, while no significant changes were observed for 8-oxo-dG. Because proteins may compete with DNA to react with Acr, we then examined the effects of BSA on the DHA induced apoptosis and oxidative DNA damage. The addition of BSA to HT-29 cell culture media significantly decreases Acr-dG levels with a concomitant decrease in the apoptosis induced by DHA. The reduced Acr-dG formation is attributed to the reaction of BSA with acrolein as indicated by increased levels of total protein carbonyls. Similar correlations between Acr-dG formation and apoptosis were observed in HT-29 cells directly incubated with 0 to 200µM of acrolein. Additionally, DHA treatment increased level of DNA strand breaks and caused cell cycle arrested at G1 phase. Taken together, these results demonstrate the parallel relationships between the Acr-dG level and apoptosis in HT-29 cells, suggesting that the formation of Acr-dG in cellular DNA may contribute to apoptosis induced by DHA.
polyunsaturated fatty acids; apoptosis; chemoprevention; colon cancer; docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); arachidonic acid (AA); linoleic (LA); acrolein; 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal; cyclic deoxyguanosine adducts; oxidative DNA damage; 32P-postlabeling
Accumulating evidence suggests that the pathophysiology of depression might be associated with neuroinflammation, which could be attenuated by pharmacological treatment for depression. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are anti-inflammatory and exert antidepressant effects. The aim of this study was to identify the molecular mechanisms through which docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the main omega-3 PUFA in the brain, modulates oxidative reactions and inflammatory cytokine production in microglial and neuronal cells. The results of this study showed that DHA reduced expressions of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, nitric oxide synthase, and cyclo-oxygenase-2, induced by interferon-γ, and induced upregulation of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in BV-2 microglia. The inhibitory effect of DHA on nitric oxide production was abolished by HO-1 inhibitor zinc protoporphyrin IX. In addition, DHA caused AKT and ERK activation in a time-dependent manner, and the DHA-induced HO-1 upregulation could be attenuated by PI-3 kinase/AKT and MEK/ERK inhibitors. DHA also increased IKKα/β phosphorylation, IκBα phosphorylation, and IκBα degradation, whereas both nuclear factor-κB and IκB protease inhibitors could inhibit DHA-induced HO-1 expressions. The other major n-3 PUFA, eicosapentaenoic acid, showed similar effects of DHA on inflammation and HO-1 in repeated key experiments. In connecting with inflammation hypothesis of depression and clinical studies supporting the antidepressant effects of omega-3 PUFAs, this study provides a novel implication of the antidepressant mechanisms of DHA.
omega-3 fatty acids; docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1); antidepressant; microglia; inflammation; biological psychiatry; depression, unipolar/bipolar; molecular & cellular neurobiology; psychopharmacology; omega-3 fatty acids; docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1); antidepressant; microglia, inflammation
Mitochondria can depolarize and trigger cell death through the opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP). We recently showed that an increase in the long chain n3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n3) and depletion of the n6 PUFA arachidonic acid (ARA; 20:4n6) in mitochondrial membranes is associated with a greater Ca2+ load required to induce MPTP opening. Here we manipulated mitochondrial phospholipid composition by supplementing the diet with DHA, ARA or combined DHA+ARA in rats for 10 weeks. There were no effects on cardiac function, or respiration of isolated mitochondria. Analysis of mitochondrial phospholipids showed DHA supplementation increased DHA and displaced ARA in mitochondrial membranes, while supplementation with ARA or DHA+ARA increased ARA and depleted linoleic acid (18:2n6). Phospholipid analysis revealed a similar pattern, particularly in cardiolipin. Tetralinoleoyl cardiolipin was depleted by 80% with ARA or DHA+ARA supplementation, with linoleic acid side chains replaced by ARA. Both the DHA and ARA groups had delayed Ca2+-induced MPTP opening, but the DHA+ARA group was similar to the control diet. In conclusion, alterations in mitochondria membrane phospholipid fatty acid composition caused by dietary DHA or ARA was associated with a greater cumulative Ca2+ load required to induced MPTP opening. Further, high levels of tetralinoleoyl cardiolipin were not essential for normal mitochondrial function if replaced with very-long chain n3 or n6 PUFAs.
How ω-3 and ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) lower plasma lipid levels is incompletely understood. We previously showed that marine ω-3 PUFAs (docosahexaenoic acid [DHA] and eicosapentaenoic acid) stimulate a novel pathway, post-ER presecretory proteolysis (PERPP), that degrades apolipoprotein B100 (ApoB100), thereby reducing lipoprotein secretion from liver cells. To identify signals stimulating PERPP, we examined known actions of ω-3 PUFA. In rat hepatoma or primary rodent hepatocytes incubated with ω-3 PUFA, cotreatment with the iron chelator desferrioxamine, an inhibitor of iron-dependent lipid peroxidation, or vitamin E, a lipid antioxidant, suppressed increases in thiobarbituric acid–reactive substances (TBARSs; a measure of lipid peroxidation products) and restored ApoB100 recovery and VLDL secretion. Moreover, ω-6 and nonmarine ω-3 PUFA, also prone to peroxidation, increased ApoB100 degradation via intracellular induction of TBARSs. Even without added fatty acids, degradation of ApoB100 in primary hepatocytes was blocked by desferrioxamine or antioxidant cotreatment. To extend these results in vivo, mice were infused with DHA, which increased hepatic TBARSs and reduced VLDL-ApoB100 secretion. These results establish a novel link between lipid peroxidation and oxidant stress with ApoB100 degradation via PERPP, and may be relevant to the hypolipidemic actions of dietary PUFAs, the basal regulation of ApoB100 secretion, and hyperlipidemias arising from ApoB100 overproduction.
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 mediating receptor-mediated signal transduction. 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.
Purpose of review
Substantial evidence documents the key role of lipid (membrane) rafts and caveolae as microdomains that concentrate a wide variety of receptors and post-receptor components regulated by hormones, neurotransmitters and growth factors.
Recent data document that those microdomains are important in regulating vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells and renal epithelial cells, and in particular in signal transduction across the plasma membrane.
Raft/caveolae domains are cellular regions, including in cardiovascular and renal epithelial cells, that organize a large number of signal transduction components, thereby providing spatially and temporally efficient regulation of cell function.
Caveolin; vascular endothelium; vascular smooth muscle; eNOS; myocardial ischemia
The two marine omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), prevalent in fish and fish oils, have been investigated as a strategy towards prophylaxis of atherosclerosis. While the results with fish and fish oils have been not as clear cut, the data generated with the purified ethyl ester forms of these two fatty acids are consistent. Although slight differences in biological activity exist between EPA and DHA, both exert a number of positive actions against atherosclerosis and its complications. EPA and DHA as ethyl esters inhibit platelet aggregability, and reduce serum triglycerides, while leaving other serum lipids essentially unaltered. Glucose metabolism has been studied extensively, and no adverse effects were seen. Pro-atherogenic cytokines are reduced, as are markers of endothelial activation. Endothelial function is improved, vascular occlusion is reduced, and the course of coronary atherosclerosis is mitigated. Heart rate is reduced, and heart rate variability is increased by EPA and DHA. An antiarrhythmic effect can be demonstrated on the supraventricular and the ventricular level. More importantly, two large studies showed reductions in clinical endpoints like sudden cardiac death or major adverse cardiac events. As a consequence, relevant cardiac societies recommend using 1 g/day of EPA and DHA for cardiovascular prevention, after a myocardial infarction and for prevention of sudden cardiac death.
sudden cardiac death; major adverse cardiac events; cardiovascular prevention; eicosapentaenoic acid; docosahexaenoic acid
Eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (EPA/DHA), n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), have a variety of biological activities including anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. We hypothesized that their peroxidized products contributed in part to anti-inflammatory effects. In the liver, the production of nitric oxide (NO) by inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) has been implicated as one of the factors in hepatic inflammation and injury. We examined whether the peroxidation of EPA/DHA influences the induction of iNOS and NO production in proinflammatory cytokine-stimulated cultured hepatocytes, which is in vitro liver inflammation model. Peroxidized EPA/DHA inhibited the induction of iNOS and NO production in parallel with the increased levels of their peroxidation, whereas unoxidized EPA/DHA had no effects at all. Peroxidized EPA/DHA reduced the activation of transcription factor, NF-κB, and the expression of the iNOS antisense transcript, which are involved in iNOS promoter transactivation (mRNA synthesis) and its mRNA stabilization, respectively. These findings demonstrated that peroxidized products of EPA/DHA suppressed the induction of iNOS gene expression through both of the transcriptional and posttranscriptional steps, leading to the prevention of hepatic inflammation.
Although supplementation of preterm formula with polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) has been shown to reduce the incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in animal models and clinical trials, the mechanisms remain elusive. We hypothesized that the protective effect of PUFA on NEC may be due to the ability of PUFA to suppress Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 and platelet-activating factor receptor (PAFR) gene expression (molecules that are important in the pathogenesis of NEC) in epithelial cells. To investigate the efficacy of different PUFA preparations on NEC in a neonatal rat model, we compared the incidence of NEC among the four PUFA supplemented groups—A: arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (AA+DHA), B: egg phospholipids (EP), C: DHA, and D: control without PUFA. PUFA supplementation reduced the incidence of NEC and inhibited intestinal PAFR and TLR4 gene expression compared with the controls. To validate the in vivo observations, IEC-6 cells were exposed to PAF after pretreatment with AA or DHA. Both AA and DHA supplementation blocked PAF-induced TLR4 and PAFR mRNA expression in these enterocytes. These results suggest that PUFA modulates gene expression of key factors involved in experimental NEC pathogenesis. These effects might in part explain the protective effect of PUFA on neonatal NEC.
Neuroinflammation characterizes various neurological disorders. Peripheral immune cells and CNS-resident glia contribute to neuroinflammation and impact CNS degeneration, recovery and regeneration. Recently, the role of dendritic cells in neuroinflammation received special attention. The function of infiltrating immune cells and resident glia is affected by various factors, including lipid mediators. Polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially n-6 arachidonic acid and n-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the most abundant in the CNS, play an important role in neuroinflammation. The major arachidonic acid bioactive derivative in immune cells, PGE2, and DHA have been reported to have opposite effects on dendritic cells in terms of cytokine production and activation/differentiation of CD4+ T cells. Here we review the existing information on PGE2 and DHA modulation of dendritic cell function and the potential impact of these lipid mediators of dendritic cells in CNS inflammatory disorders.
dendritic cells; docosahexaenoic acid; lipid mediators; neuroinflammation; PGE2; T-cell differentiation
Proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells is a characteristic of pathological vascular remodeling and represents a significant therapeutic challenge in several cardiovascular diseases. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a member of the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, was shown to inhibit proliferation of numerous cell types, implicating several different mechanisms. In this study we examined the molecular events underlying the inhibitory effects of DHA on proliferation of primary human smooth muscle cells isolated from small pulmonary artery (hPASMCs). DHA concentration-dependently inhibited hPASMC proliferation, induced G1 cell cycle arrest, and decreased cyclin D1 protein expression. DHA activated the unfolded protein response (UPR), evidenced by increased mRNA expression of HSPA5, increased phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2α, and splicing of X-box binding protein 1. DHA altered cellular lipid composition and led to increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. DHA-induced ROS were dependent on both intracellular Ca2+ release and entry of extracellular Ca2+. Overall cellular ROS and mitochondrial ROS were decreased by RU360, a specific inhibitor of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake. DHA-induced mitochondrial dysfunction was evidenced by decreased mitochondrial membrane potential and decreased cellular ATP content. DHA triggered apoptosis as found by increased numbers of cleaved caspase-3- and TUNEL-positive cells. The free radical scavenger Tempol counteracted DHA-induced ROS, cell cycle arrest, induction of UPR, and apoptosis. We conclude that Ca2+-dependent oxidative stress is the central and initial event responsible for induction of UPR, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis in DHA-treated hPASMCs.
► DHA induces ROS production, cell cycle arrest, UPR and apoptosis in hPASMC. ► Ca2+ and mitochondria are required for DHA-mediated induction of ROS. ► DHA alters cellular lipid composition and decreases ΔΨm and cellular ATP content. ► Free radical scavenger Tempol counteracts DHA effects in hPASMC.
ATF6, activating transcription factor 6; DHA, docosahexaenoic acid; ΔΨm, mitochondrial membrane potential; eIF2α, eukaryotic initiation factor 2α; ER, endoplasmic reticulum; FCS, fetal calf serum; hPASMC, human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell; HSPA5, heat shock 70-kDa protein 5; IRE1α, inositol-requiring enzyme 1α; n-3 PUFA, n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid; PERK, protein kinase RNA-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase; PC, phosphatidylcholine; PE, phosphatidylethanolamine; PTP, permeability transition pore; ROS, reactive oxygen species; TG, triglyceride; UPR, unfolded protein response; XBP-1, X-box binding protein 1; Oxidative stress; Unfolded protein response; n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid; Apoptosis; Mitochondria; Cell cycle; Free radicals
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common human cancer with high mortality and currently there is no effective chemoprevention or systematic treatment. Recent evidence suggests that COX-2-derived PGE2 and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways are implicated in hepatocarcinogenesis. Here we report that ω-3 PUFAs, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), inhibit HCC growth through simultaneously inhibition of COX-2 and β-catenin. DHA and EPA treatment resulted in a dose-dependent reduction of cell viability with cleavage of PARP, caspase-3 and caspase-9 in three human HCC cell lines (Hep3B, Huh-7, HepG2). In contrast, arachidonic acid (AA), a ω-6 PUFA, exhibited no significant effect. DHA and EPA treatment caused dephosphorylation and thus activation of GSK-3β, leading to β-catenin degradation in Hep3B cells. The GSK3-β inhibitor, LiCl, partially prevented DHA-induced β-catenin protein degradation and apoptosis. Additionally, DHA induced the formation of β-catenin/Axin/GSK-3β binding complex, which serves as a parallel mechanism for β-catenin degradation. Furthermore, DHA inhibited PGE2 signaling through downregulation of COX-2 and upregulation of the COX-2 antagonist, 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH). Finally, the growth of HCC in vivo was significantly reduced when mouse HCCs (Hepa1–6) were inoculated into the Fat-1 transgenic mice which express a Caenorhabditis elegans desaturase converting ω-6 to ω-3 PUFAs endogenously. These findings provide important preclinical evidence and molecular insight for utilization of ω-3 PUFAs for the chemoprevention and treatment of human HCC.
hepatocellular carcinoma; omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid; beta-catenin; cyclooxygenase-2; prostaglandin E2; 15-PGDH
Human epidemiological studies have shown that diets enriched in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) are associated with a lower incidence of cancers including breast cancer. Our previous studies showed that the n-3 PUFA, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), upregulated syndecan-1 (SDC-1) expression to induce apoptosis in the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7. We now present evidence of a signaling pathway that is impacted by SDC-1 in these cells and in mouse mammary tissues to result in apoptosis. In MCF-7 cells and SK-BR-3 cells, DHA and a SDC-1 ectodomain impaired signaling of the p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway by inhibiting the phosphorylation of MAPK/Erk (MEK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk) and Bad to induce apoptosis. SDC-1 siRNA significantly enhanced phosphorylation of these signal molecules and blocked the inhibitory effects of DHA on their phosphorylation. SDC-1 siRNA diminished apoptosis of MCF-7 cells, an effect that was markedly blocked by MEK inhibitor, PD98059. In vivo studies used (i) Fat-1 mice, a genetic model able to convert n-6 to n-3 PUFA to result in higher SDC-1 levels in Fat-1 mammary tissue compared with that of wild-type (wt) mice. Phosphorylation of MEK, Erk and Bad was lower in the Fat-1 versus wt tissue and (ii) SDC-1−/− mice that demonstrated markedly higher levels of phosphorylated MEK, Erk and Bad in mammary gland tissue compared with those of SDC+/+ mice. These data elucidate a pathway whereby SDC-1, upregulated by DHA, induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells through inhibition of MEK/Erk/Bad signaling.
Deficiency in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is associated with impaired visual and neurological postnatal development, cognitive decline, macular degeneration, and other neurodegenerative diseases. DHA is an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acyl chain concentrated in phospholipids of brain and retina, with photoreceptor cells displaying the highest content of DHA of all cell membranes. The identification and characterization of neuroprotectin D1 (NPD1, 10R, 17S-dihydroxy-docosa-4Z, 7Z, 11E, 13E, 15Z, 19Z-hexaenoic acid) contributes to understanding the biological significance of DHA. In oxidative stress-challenged human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells, human brain cells, or rat brains undergoing ischemia-reperfusion, NPD1 synthesis is enhanced as a response for sustaining homeostasis. Thus, neurotrophins, Aβ peptide 42 (Aβ42), calcium ionophore A23187, interleukin (IL)-1 β, or DHA supply enhances NPD1 synthesis. NPD1, in turn, up-regulates the anti-apoptotic proteins of the Bcl-2 family and decreases the expression of pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members. Moreover, NPD1 inhibits IL-1 β-stimulated expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). Because both RPE and photoreceptors are damaged and then die in retinal degenerations, elucidating how NPD1 signaling contributes to retinal cell survival may lead to a new understanding of disease mechanisms. In human neural cells, DHA attenuates amyloid-β (Aβ) secretion, resulting in concomitant formation of NPD1. NPD1 was found to be reduced in the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) CA1 hippocampal region, but not in other areas of the brain. The expression of key enzymes for NPD1 biosynthesis, cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2), and 15-lipoxygenase (15-LOX) was found altered in the AD hippocampal CA1 region. NPD1 repressed Aβ42-triggered activation of pro-inflammatory genes and upregulated the anti-apoptotic genes encoding Bcl-2, Bcl-xl, and Bfl-1(A1) in human brain cells in culture. Overall, these results support the concept that NPD1 promotes brain and retina cell survival via the induction of anti-apoptotic and neuroprotective gene-expression programs that suppress Aβ42-induced neurotoxicity and other forms of cell injury, which in turn fosters homeostasis during development in aging, as well as during the initiation and progression of neurodegenerative diseases.
n-3 (omega-3) fatty acid; n-6 (omega-6) fatty acid; retinal pigment epithelial cell; Aβ42; Bcl-2 proteins; eicosanoids; docosanoids; inflammation; photoreceptor renewal; liver; neurotrophins; aging; Alzheimer’s disease; macular degeneration