Vitamin D Counteracts Lipid Accumulation, Augments Free Fatty Acid-Induced ABCA1 and CPT-1A Expression While Reducing CD36 and C/EBPβ Protein Levels in Monocyte-Derived Macrophages

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  • Mirko Marino
  • Samuele Venturi
  • Cristian Del Bo’
  • Møller, Peter
  • Patrizia Riso
  • Marisa Porrini

The biologically active form of vitamin D, calcitriol (VD3), has received great attention for its extraskeletal effects, such as a protective role on the cardiovascular system. The aim of the present work is to test the capacity of VD3 to affect lipid metabolism and fatty acid accumulation in an in vitro model of monocyte (THP-1)-derived macrophages. Cells were treated for 24 h with oleic/palmitic acid (500 µM, 2:1 ratio) and different VD3 concentrations (0.1, 1, 10, 50 and 100 nM). Lipid accumulation was quantified spectrophotometrically (excitation: 544 nm, emission: 590 nm). C/EBPβ, PPAR-γ1, CD36, CPT-1A, and ABCA1 protein levels were assessed by ELISA kits at different time-points (1, 2, 4, 8, and 24 h). VD3 at 50 and 100 nM significantly reduced fatty acids accumulation in macrophages by 27% and 32%, respectively. In addition, tested at 50 nM, VD3 decreased CD36, PPAR-γ1, and C/EBPβ, while it increased ABCA1 and CPT-1A protein levels in free fatty acid-exposed cells. In conclusion, VD3 reduced fatty acid accumulation in THP-1-derived macrophages exposed to lipid excess. The anti-atherogenic effect of VD3 could be ascribable to the regulation of proteins involved in lipid transport and clearance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number775
Issue number4
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

    Research areas

  • ABCA1, C/EBPβ, calcitriol, CPT-1A, fatty acids, foam cells, PPAR-γ1

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