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Title: Crucial role of Toll-like receptors in the zinc/nickel-induced inflammatory response in vascular endothelial cells

Our previous studies indicated that zinc induced inflammatory response in both vascular endothelial cells and promonocytes. Here, we asked if other metals could cause the similar effect on vascular endothelial cells and tried to determine its underlying mechanism. Following screening of fifteen metals, zinc and nickel were identified with a marked proinflammatory effect, as determined by ICAM-1 and IL-8 induction, on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Inhibiting protein expression of myeloid differentiation primary response protein-88 (MyD88), a Toll-like receptor (TLR) adaptor acting as a TLR-signaling transducer, significantly attenuated the zinc/nickel-induced inflammatory response, suggesting the critical roles of TLRs in the inflammatory response. Blockage of TLR-4 signaling by CLI-095, a TLR-4 inhibitor, completely inhibited the nickel-induced ICAM-1 and IL-8 expression and NFκB activation. The same CLI-095 treatment significantly blocked the zinc-induced IL-8 expression, however with no significant effect on the ICAM-1 expression and a minor inhibitory effect on the NFκB activation. The finding demonstrated the differential role of TLR-4 in regulation of the zinc/nickel-induced inflammatory response, where TLR-4 played a dominant role in NFκB activation by nickel, but not by zinc. Moreover, inhibition of NFκB by adenovirus-mediated IκBα expression and Bay 11-7025, an inhibitor of cytokine-induced IκB-α phosphorylation, significantly attenuatedmore » the zinc/nickel-induced inflammatory responses, indicating the critical of NFκB in the process. The study demonstrates the crucial role of TLRs in the zinc/nickel-induced inflammatory response in vascular endothelial cells and herein deciphers a potential important difference in NFκB activation via TLRs. The study provides a molecular basis for linkage between zinc/nickel exposure and pathogenesis of the metal-related inflammatory vascular disease. - Highlights: • Both zinc and nickel cause ICAM-1/IL‑8 expression in endothelial cells via TLRs. • Nickel induces the inflammatory responses via a TLR-4/NF-κB pathway. • Zinc causes the inflammatory responses via a broader TLRs/NF-κB signaling. • Nickel shows a significantly higher inflammatory effect than zinc. • NF-κB activation is the primary mechanism involved in the inflammatory responses.« less
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  1. Division of Environmental Health and Occupational Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Zhunan, Miaoli 350, Taiwan (China)
  2. Emerging Compounds Research Center, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, National Pingtung University and Science and Technology, Neipu, Pingtung 912, Taiwan (China)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology; Journal Volume: 273; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2013 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States