Effect of docosahexaenoic acid plus insulin on atherosclerotic human endothelial cells

Abriz A. E. , Rahbarghazi R., Nourazarian A., BİRAY AVCI Ç. , Mahboob S. A. , Rahnema M., ...More

JOURNAL OF INFLAMMATION-LONDON, vol.18, no.1, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s12950-021-00277-5


Background Atherosclerosis is touted as one of the most critical consequences of diabetes mellitus indicated by local inflammation of endothelial cells. The Effect of Omega 3 fatty acids, mainly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), has been investigated in cells after exposure to high doses of lipids. The current experiment aimed to address the modulatory effects of docosahexaenoic acid and insulin in palmitic-treated human endothelial cells. Methods Human umbilical vein endothelial cells were treated with 1 mM palmitic acid, 50 mu M insulin, 50 mu M docosahexaenoic acid, and their combination for 48 h. Cell survival rate and apoptosis were measured using MTT and flow cytometry assays. The Griess assay detected NO levels. Protein levels of TNF-alpha, IL-6, and NF-kappa B were studied using ELISA and immunofluorescence imaging. The expression of genes participating in atherosclerosis was monitored using PCR array analysis. Results Oil Red O staining showed the inhibitory effect of DHA and insulin to reduce the intracellular accumulation of palmitic acid. Both DHA and Insulin blunted palmitic acid detrimental effects on HUVECs indicated by an increased survival rate (p < 0.05). The percent of apoptotic cells was decreased in palmitic-treated cells received insulin and DHA compared to palmitic-treated group (p < 0.05). Based on our data, DHA and Insulin diminished the production of all inflammatory cytokines, TNF-alpha, IL-6, and NF-kappa B, in palmitic-treated cells (p < 0.05). Similar to these data, NO production was also decreased in all groups treated with insulin and DHA compared to the palmitic-treated cells (p < 0.05). PCR array analysis revealed the modulatory effect of DHA and insulin on the expression of atherosclerosis-related genes pre-treated with palmitic acid compared to the control group (p < 0.05). Conclusion DHA and Insulin could alter the dynamic growth and dysfunctional activity of human endothelial cells after treatment with palmitic acid. Taken together, Omega 3 fatty acids, along with insulin, could dictate specific cell behavior in endothelial cells in vitro.