Recently, dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (DPP-IV) inhibitor, a major anti-hyperglycemic agent, has received substantial attention as a possible therapeutic target for inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis. However, the direct molecular mechanisms through which DPP-IV inhibitor mediates anti-inflammatory effects in vascular endothelial cells have not been clarified. The effects of the DPP-IV inhibitor, gemigliptin, were analyzed in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and THP-1 cells. Using Western blotting, we demonstrated that gemigliptin efficiently increased the level of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and Akt phosphorylation in a dose-dependent manner. The levels of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-mediated phosphorylated nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) were significantly decreased after gemigliptin treatment. Furthermore, gemigliptin reduced LPS-induced expression of adhesion molecules and inflammatory cytokines such as vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), E-selectin, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and IL-6 in HUVECs. In macrophage-like THP-1 cells, gemigliptin effectively inhibited LPS- and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-induced foam cell formation. However, these anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerotic effects of gemigliptin in HUVECs and THP-1 cells were significantly reduced after treatment with an AMPK or an Akt inhibitor. Our results suggest that gemigliptin efficiently inhibited LPS-induced pro-inflammatory effects in vascular endothelial cells by attenuating NF-κB and JNK signaling via Akt/AMPK-dependent mechanisms. Therefore, the DPP-IV inhibitor, gemigliptin, may directly protect the vascular endothelium against inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis.
- AMP-activated protein kinase
- Dipeptidyl peptidase-IV inhibitors
- Endothelial cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology