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Stearic acid at physiologic concentrations induces in vitro lipotoxicity in circulating angiogenic cells

Spigoni, Valentina et al.

Atherosclerosis. Volume 265 (2017); pp 162-171 -- Elsevier Ireland Ltd

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  • Title:
    Stearic acid at physiologic concentrations induces in vitro lipotoxicity in circulating angiogenic cells
  • Author: Spigoni, Valentina;
    Fantuzzi, Federica;
    Fontana, Alessia;
    Cito, Monia;
    Derlindati, Eleonora;
    Zavaroni, Ivana;
    Cnop, Miriam;
    Bonadonna, Riccardo C.;
    Dei Cas, Alessandra
  • Found In: Atherosclerosis. Volume 265 (2017); pp 162-171
  • Journal Title: Atherosclerosis
  • Subjects: Arteriosclerosis--Periodicals; Stearic acid--Circulating angiogenic cells--Lipotoxicity--Apoptosis--Inflammation; Electronic journals; Dewey: 616.136
  • Rights: legaldeposit
  • Publication Details: Elsevier Ireland Ltd
  • Abstract: Abstract: Background and aims:

    Saturated free fatty acids (SFAs) can induce lipotoxicity in different cells. No studies have investigated the effects of SFA in circulating angiogenic cells (CACs), which play a key role in endothelial repair processes. The aim of the study was to assess the effects of SFAs, specifically stearic acid (SA), on viability and function of CACs and to investigate potential underlying molecular mechanisms.


    CACs were isolated from healthy subjects by established methods. CACs were incubated with BSA-complexed stearate (100 μM) to assess the time course (from 8 to 24 h exposure) of the effects on viability and apoptosis (activation of caspases 3/7), angiogenic function (tube formation assay), pro-inflammatory cytokine (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1 and TNFα) gene expression (qPCR) and secretion (ELISA), activation of MAPK (JNK, p38 and Erk1/2) by Western blot and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress marker ( CHOP, BIP, ATF4, XBP-1 and sXBP-1 ) gene expression by qPCR.


    Stearic acid activates effector caspases in CACs in a dose- and time-dependent manner. SA also impairs CAC function and increases pro-inflammatory molecule (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1 and TNFα) gene expression and secretion in CACs starting from 3 h of incubation. The activation of JNK by SA mediates pro-inflammatory response, but it may be not necessary for apoptosis. Moreover, SA induces the expression of ER stress markers across the three branches of the ER stress response.


    In humans, both function and viability of CACs are exquisitely vulnerable to physiologic concentrations of stearate; lipotoxic impairment of endothelial repair processes may be implicated in vascular damage caused by SFAs.


    Stearic acid 100 μM is lipotoxic in circulating angiogenic cells (CAC).

    It induces a JNK-mediated pro-inflammatory response and lipoapoptosis in CAC.

    Stearic acid at physiological concentrations may impair endothelial repairing processes in vivo .

  • Identifier: System Number: LDEAvdc_100050195573.0x000001; Journal ISSN: 0021-9150; 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2017.09.004
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Physical Description: Electronic
  • Shelfmark(s): ELD Digital store

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