Alpha-Linolenic acid protects renal cells against palmitic acid lipotoxicity via inhibition of endoplasmic reticulum stress

Unsaturated fatty acids may counteract the lipotoxicity associated with saturated fatty acids. Palmitic acid induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and caused apoptotic and necrotic cell death in the renal proximal tubular cell line, NRK-52E. We investigated whether alpha-linolenic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid, protected against ER stress and cell death induced by palmitic acid or by other non-nutrient ER stress generators. Incubation of NRK-52E cells for 24h with palmitic acid produced a significant increase in apoptosis and necrosis. Palmitic acid also increased levels of three indicators of ER stress – the phosphorylated form of the eukaryotic initiation factor 2alpha (eIF2alpha), C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), and glucose regulated protein 78 (GRP78). alpha-Linolenic acid dramatically reduced cell death and levels of all three indicators of ER stress brought about by palmitic acid. Tunicamycin, which induces ER stress by glycosylation of proteins, produced similar effects to those obtained using palmitic acid; its effects were partially reversed by alpha-linolenic acid. Salubrinal (a phosphatase inhibitor) causes increased levels of the phosphorylated form of eIF2alpha – this effect was partially reversed by alpha-linolenic acid. Palmitoleate, a monosaturated fatty acid, had similar effects to those of alpha-linolenic acid. These results suggest that part of the mechanism of protection of the kidney by unsaturated fatty acids is through inhibition of ER stress, eIF2alpha phosphorylation and consequential reduction of CHOP protein expression and apoptotic renal cell death.

Σύνδεσμος PubMed:

Katsoulieris, E.; et al.