Lipid Rafts Promote trans Fatty Acid-Induced Inflammation in Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells

Lipids. 2017 Jan;52(1):27-35. doi: 10.1007/s11745-016-4213-2. Epub 2016 Nov 16.


The effects of two fatty acids, oleic acid (OLA) and elaidic acid (ELA) on normal human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and non-rafts HUVEC were investigated in this study. The expression levels of inflammatory cytokines (ICAM-1, VCAM-1 and IL-6) were analyzed. Western blot was used to analyze the expression levels of inflammation-related proteins (NF-κB, ERK1/2) and toll-like receptors 4 (TLR4). The results showed that the levels of nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 and phosphorylated ERK1/2 were significantly decreased only in non-lipid rafts cells pretreated with trans fatty acid (TFA). The expression of TLR4 in the ELA-treated normal cells was higher than that in non-lipid rafts HUVEC. When the lipid rafts was destroyed by methyl-β-cyclodextrin, the levels of nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65, phosphorylated ERK1/2 and TLR4 were decreased significantly. Therefore, lipid rafts may be involved in TFA induced-inflammation in HUVEC through blocking the inflammatory signal pathway. Lipid rafts might be a platform for specific receptors such as TLR4 for TFA to activate the pro-inflammation on cell membranes.

Keywords: ERK1/2; Inflammation; Lipid rafts; NF-kB; trans Fatty acids.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleus / immunology
  • Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / drug effects
  • Membrane Microdomains / immunology*
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Oleic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Oleic Acids
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Protein Transport / drug effects
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • Trans Fatty Acids / pharmacology*
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism


  • ICAM1 protein, human
  • IL6 protein, human
  • Interleukin-6
  • NF-kappa B
  • Oleic Acids
  • TLR4 protein, human
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • Trans Fatty Acids
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Oleic Acid
  • elaidic acid