Student Summer Scholars Manuscripts


Free Fatty Acid Receptor 4 Decreases Endothelial Connexin43 Expression


Fatty acid, free fatty acid 4, obesity, atherosclerosis


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering

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Obesity is a major health concern in the United States due to increased rates of occurrence among the young. Current work suggests the impact of fatty acids (FA) on human health go beyond energy storage to directly modify inflammatory responses. In particular, binding of FA to receptors can either stimulate (trans FA) or inhibit (cis FA) inflammatory responses in a cell. Free FA circulating in the blood impact the development of atherosclerotic plaques by affecting receptors on endothelial cells (EC) lining the inside of a blood vessel. We are focused on the protective cis FA and its potential binding to a newly characterized free FA receptors on ECs. The goal of this work was to determine whether ECs express free FA receptor 4 (FFAR4) and whether the (FFAR4) mediates the anti-inflammatory response of these ECs to oleic acid (cis FA). Experiments were performed on cultured EC (bEnd.3: ATCC). In these ECs, protein for the FFAR4 was detected via Western blot (n=4 samples). When these cells were treated with oleic acid (0.3, 3, 30, and 300 μM) for 6 hours, the FFAR4 decreases EC Connexin 43 expression. Thus, the anti-inflammatory effects of cis FA could result from their ability to bind to the FFA4 receptor on ECs.