Cytotoxic Effect of Triglycerides via Apoptotic Caspase Pathway in Immune and Non-immune Cell Lines

  • Lim, Jaewon (Department of Clinical Laboratory Science, College of Medical Sciences, Daegu Haany University) ;
  • Yang, Eun Ju (Department of Clinical Laboratory Science, College of Medical Sciences, Daegu Haany University) ;
  • Chang, Jeong Hyun (Department of Clinical Laboratory Science, College of Medical Sciences, Daegu Haany University)
  • Received : 2019.01.28
  • Accepted : 2019.03.12
  • Published : 2019.03.31


Hyperlipidemia is defined as conditions of the accumulation of lipids such as free fatty acids (FFA), triglyceride (TG), cholesterol and/or phospholipid in the bloodstream. Hyperlipidemia can cause lipid accumulation in non-adipose tissue, which is lipid-cytotoxic effects in many tissues and mediates cell dysfunction, inflammation or programmed cell death (PCD). TG is considered to be a major cause of atherosclerosis through inflammatory necrosis of vascular endothelial cells. Recently, TG have also been shown to exhibit lipid-cytotoxicity and induce PCD. Therefore, we investigated the effect of TG on the cytotoxic effect of various cell types. When exposed to TG, the cell viability of U937 monocytes and Jurkat T lymphocytes, as well as the cell viability of MCF-7, a non-immune cell, decreased in time- and dose-dependent manner. In U937 cells and Jurkat cells, caspase-9, an intrinsic apoptotic caspase, and caspase-8, an extrinsic apoptotic caspase, were increased by exposure to TG. However, in TG-treated MCF-7 cells, caspase-8 activity increased only without caspase-9 activity. In addition, the reduction of cell viability by TG was recovered when all three cell lines were treated with pan-caspase inhibitor. These results suggest that activation of apoptotic caspases by TG causes lipotoxic effect and decreases cell viability.


Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)


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