Aims/hypothesis: Activation of the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) reportedly triggers cellular responses implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetes, such as increasing vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) expression on vascular endothelial cells and inducing TNF-alpha secretion by mononuclear cells. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether RAGE binding affinity of AGE-BSAs and cellular activation correlate.
Methods: To produce AGEs with varying glycation, bovine albumin AGEs were prepared with 500 mmol/l of glucose, fructose or ribose at times of incubation from 1 to 12 weeks. In addition, AGE-BSA was generated using either glyoxylic acid or glycolaldehyde. Cellular binding of the AGE-BSAs and the effect on endothelial cell VCAM-1 expression were studied in RAGE-expressing human microvascular endothelial cell line-4 cells. Induction of TNF-alpha secretion was assessed using RAGE-expressing human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs).
Results: Cellular binding of the different AGE preparations correlated well with RAGE affinity. Interestingly, we found that the AGE preparations, which were essentially endotoxin free (< or =0.2 ng/mg protein), were incapable of inducing VCAM-1 or TNF-alpha secretion regardless of RAGE binding affinity, AGE concentration or incubation time. In contrast, the reported RAGE ligand S100b was confirmed to induce VCAM-1 expression on endothelial cells and TNF-alpha secretion by PBMCs after 24 h of treatment.
Conclusions/interpretation: The results of this study suggest that AGE modification and high RAGE binding affinity are not sufficient to generate pro-inflammatory signalling molecules. Thus, RAGE binding affinity of AGE-BSAs does not seem to correlate with cellular activation. Our findings using AGEs with strong RAGE-binding properties indicate that AGEs may not uniformly play a role in cellular activation.