Article Text

  1. F. B. Stentz,
  2. A. R. Gosmanov,
  3. A. E. Kitabchi
  1. University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis


T-lymphocytes (T-cells) cells and human aortic endothelial cells (HAEC) under hyperglycemic conditions behave similarly in that both cells in the presence of 30 mM glucose demonstrate production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and lipid peroxidation and play important roles in the atherogenic process. We have previously shown that in T-cells hyperglycemic conditions results in the emergence of the activation marker CD69 and de novo emergence of growth factor receptors for insulin, IGF-1 and IL-2, but the effect of saturated and unsaturated free fatty acids (FFA) has not been compared in these two cells in regards to their insulin receptor status. To study the similarities between these two tissues we incubated HAEC and T-cells from normal human subjects in culture media containing 5 mM glucose with either no fatty acids or 1 or 50 μM concentrations of one of the following unsaturated FFA: linoleic, linolenic, and oleic acids or 1 or 50 μM of the saturated FFA, palmitic acid, for 72 hours. For osmotic control these cells were incubated in 30 mM sucrose. Activation of the T-lymphocytes was assessed by the use of the activation marker CD69 and the insulin receptor by fluorescent tagged antibody using flow cytometry. Activation of the HAEC was determined by the emergence of the cell surface activation marker of endothelial cells, CD62E (E-selectin) using a fluorescent tagged antibody and the insulin receptor also using a fluorescent tagged antibody. The HAEC incubated in the palmitic acid demonstrated emergence of the E selectin and the insulin receptor by 48 hours, whereas the HAEC incubated in the unsaturated FFA or 30 mM sucrose demonstrated no E selectin or insulin receptors with incubation up to 72 hours, behaving similarly to the controls with no FFA. The T-cells demonstrated emergence of the CD69 activation marker by 24 hours and the insulin receptor by 72 hours when incubated with the saturated FFA, but not with the unsaturated FFA or no FFA. Thus, high concentrations of saturated but not unsaturated FFA results in activation of both HAEC and T-cells which may exert a deleterious effect on these cells. We conclude that activated T-cells demonstrate certain similarities to endothelial cells and thus may serve as an easily available early biomarker of the atherogenesis process.

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