Dehydroepiandrosterone Protects Endothelial Cells against Inflammatory Events Induced by Urban Particulate Matter and Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) has a protective role against atherosclerosis, most likely mediating an anti-inflammatory action. In order to understand the mechanisms involved in this protection, we evaluated the effects of DHEA on several molecules involved in the inflammatory response. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), expression of adhesion molecules, activation of the NF-kappaB/IkappaB-alpha pathway and of the AP-1 transcription factor were evaluated in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) treated with oxidized low density lipoproteins (oxLDL) and DHEA. We also determined if DHEA affected LDL oxidation in vitro. 100 microM DHEA-treatment inhibited the oxLDL-induced expression of ICAM-1, VCAM-1, PECAM-1, ROS production, and U937 cells adhesion to HUVECs. DHEA also delayed the kinetics of LDL oxidation in vitro. While DHEA did not affect the translocation of NF-kappaB neither the degradation IkappaB-alpha, it led to an increased translocation of AP-1. Our results suggest that DHEA inhibits the expression of molecules involved in the inflammatory process in endothelial cells activated with oxLDL, therefore its potential anti-inflammatory properties should be evaluated for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis.