Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




MDABackground/ aim: Atherosclerosis is significantly influenced by endothelial cell activation and dysfunction. Studies have demonstrated the substantial presence of fibronectin (Fn) within atherosclerotic plaques, promoting endothelial inflammation and activation. However, cellular Fn (cFn) secreted by various cell types, including endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells, and plasma Fn (pFn) produced by hepatocytes. They are distinct forms of Fn that differ in both structure and function. The specific contribution of different types of Fn in promoting endothelial cell activation and dysfunction remain uncertain. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the respective roles of pFn and endothelial cell-derived Fn (FnEC) in promoting endothelial cell activation and dysfunction. Materials and methods: Initially, endothelial cell injury was induced by exposing the cells to oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) and subsequently we generated a mutant strain of aortic endothelial cells with Fn knockdown (FnEC-KD). The impact of the FnEC-KD arel the addition of pFn on the expression levels of inflammatory factors, vasoconstrictors, and diastolic factors were compared. Results: The results showed that the FnEC-KD significantly inhibited ox-LDL-induced intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1, p < 0.05), vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM-1, p < 0.05), and endothelin (p < 0.05) expression, and nuclear factor kappa-B (NFκB, p < 0.05) activation. These results implied that FnEC-KD inhibited both endothelial cell activation and dysfunction. Surprisingly, the addition of pFn significantly inhibited the ox-LDL-induced ICAM-1 (p < 0.05), VCAM-1 (p < 0.05), and endothelin (p < 0.05) expression and NFκB (p < 0.05) activation. Implying that pFn inhibits endothelial cell activation and dysfunction. Additionally, the study revealed that ox-LDL stimulation enhanced the production of excessive nitric oxide, leading to severe endothelial cell damage. Conclusion: Aortic FnEC promotes endothelial cell activation and endothelial dysfunction, whereas pFn inhibits ox-LDL-induced endothelial cell activation and endothelial dysfunction.


Endothelial cell activation, endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, atherosclerosis, fibronectin

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