Estradiol inhibits vascular endothelial cells pro-inflammatory activation induced by C-reactive protein

Cossette É, Cloutier I, Tardif K, DonPierre G, Tanguay JF.
Source: Mol Cell Biochem
Publication Date: (2013)
Issue: 373(1-2):: 137-47
Research Area:
Basic Research
Cells used in publication:
Endothelial, aortic, human (HAEC)
Species: human
Tissue Origin: aortic
In addition of being an important inflammatory biomarker and a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, much evidence indicates that the C-reactive protein (CRP) contributes to the atherosclerosis development process. This plasmatic protein synthesized by hepatocytes in response to inflammation and tissue injury induces pro-inflammatory molecules' expression by endothelial cells (ECs). Previous studies showed that the 17ß-estradiol (E2) has beneficial effects on vascular cells by reducing in vitro pro-inflammatory molecules expressions in EC. Therefore, we hypothesize that E2 blocks or reduces CRP-mediated inflammatory responses by modulating endogenous production of CRP in EC and/or activation mechanisms. Using human aortic ECs (HAECs), we first evaluated CRP production by vascular EC and second demonstrated its self-induction. Indeed, recombinant human CRP stimulation induces a fivefold increase of CRP expression. A 1-h pre-treatment of E2 at a physiologic dose (10(-9 )M) leads to an important decrease of CRP production suggesting a partial blockage of its amplification loop mechanism. Furthermore, in HAEC, E2 reduces the secretion of the most potent agonist of CRP induction, the IL-6, by 21 %. E2 pre-treatment also decreased the expression of pro-inflammatory molecules IL-8, VCAM-1, and ICAM-1 induced by CRP and involved in leukocytes recruitment. In addition, we demonstrated that E2 could restore vascular endothelial growth factor-mediated EC migration response impaired by CRP suggesting another pro-angiogenic property of this hormone. These findings suggest that E2 can interfere with CRP pro-inflammatory effects via activation signals using its rapid, non-genomic pathway that may provide a new mechanism to improve vascular repair.