Article

C-reactive protein triggers inflammatory responses partly via TLR4/IRF3/NF-κB signaling pathway in rat vascular smooth muscle cells.

Department of Pharmacology, Xi'an Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Xi'an 710061, China.
Life sciences (Impact Factor: 2.56). 09/2010; 87(11-12):367-74. DOI: 10.1016/j.lfs.2010.07.012
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT C-reactive protein (CRP) plays an important role in the inflammatory process of atherosclerosis. Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) participates in atherogenesis by mediating the inflammatory responses. The aim of this experiment was to investigate the pro-inflammatory effects and mechanisms of CRP in rat vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), especially focusing on the effects of CRP on IL-6 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), and TLR4-dependent signal pathway.
rat VSMCs were cultured, and CRP was used as a stimulant for IL-6 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ). IL-6 level in the culture supernatant was measured by ELISA, and mRNA and protein expressions were assayed by quantitative real-time PCR and western blot, respectively. RNA interference was used to assess the roles of TLR4 and interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) in the pro-inflammatory signal pathway of CRP.
CRP stimulated IL-6 secretion, and inhibited mRNA and protein expression of PPARγ in VSMCs in a concentration-dependent manner. Additionally, CRP induced TLR4 expression, promoted nuclear translocation of NF-κB (p65), and augmented IκBα phosphorylation in VSMCs. Taken together, CRP induces the inflammatory responses through increasing IL-6 generation and reducing PPARγ expression in VSMCs, which is mediated by TLR4/IRF3/NF-κB signal pathway.
CRP is able to stimulate IL-6 production and to inhibit PPARγ expression in VSMCs via MyD88-independent TLR4 signaling pathway (TLR4/IRF3/NF-κB). These provide the novel evidence for the pro-inflammatory action of CRP involved in atherogenesis.

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