Objective and design: The pro-oxidative and pro-inflammatory pathways in vascular endothelium have been implicated in the development of atherosclerosis. In the present study, we investigated effect of interleukin-4 (IL-4) on monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) expression in vascular endothelium and examined the role of distinct sources of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in this process.
Methods and results: Real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay showed that IL-4 significantly up-regulated mRNA and protein expression of MCP-1 in human aortic endothelial cells (HAEC) and C57BL/6 mice. A significant and dose-dependent inhibition of IL-4-induced MCP-1 expression was observed in HAEC pre-treated with antioxidants, such as pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate and epigallocatechin gallate, indicating that IL-4-induced MCP-1 expression is mediated via a ROS-dependent mechanism. Additionally, pharmacological inhibitors of NADPH oxidase (NOX) significantly attenuated IL-4-induced MCP-1 expression in HAEC. Furthermore, the disruption of the NOX gene dramatically reduced IL-4-induced MCP-1 expression in NOX knockout mice (B6.129S6-Cybb(tm1Din)/J). In contrast, overexpression of MCP-1 in IL-4-stimulated HAEC was not affected by inhibiting other ROS generating pathways, such as xanthine oxidase and the mitochondrial electron transport chain.
Conclusions: These results demonstrate that IL-4 up-regulates MCP-1 expression in vascular endothelium through NOX-mediated ROS generation.