Sesamol and sesame (Sesamum indicum) oil enhance macrophage cholesterol efflux via up-regulation of PPARγ1 and LXRα transcriptional activity in a MAPK-dependent manner.
Eur J Nutr. 2015 Aug ;54(5):691-700. Epub 2014 Aug 1. PMID: 25081501
Amin F Majdalawieh
PURPOSE: Cholesterol clearance by macrophages is a vital process to eliminate excess cholesterol from the body. Internalization of modified cholesterol by macrophages triggers overexpression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptorγ1 (PPARγ1) and liver X receptor α (LXRα), two transcription factors that are critically involved in macrophage cholesterol efflux. Recent studies demonstrate that oral administration of sesamol derivative (INV-403) and sesame oil leads to a significant attenuation of atherosclerosis in Watanabeheritable hyperlipidemic rabbits and LDLR(-/-) mice, respectively. However, the exact molecular mechanisms underlying such anti-atherogenic effects remain largely unrevealed.
METHODS: Luciferase reporter assays were performed to assess the effects of sesamol and sesame oil on PPARγ1 and LXRα gene expression. The potential of sesamol and sesame oil to modulate cholesterol efflux was evaluated using (3)H-cholesterol efflux assays.
RESULTS: Sesamol and sesame oil treatments lead to a significant up-regulation of PPARγ1 and LXRα expression and transcriptional activity in a MAPK-dependent manner. Importantly, primary macrophages display a significantly enhanced cholesterol efflux potential upon treatment with sesamol and sesame oil, and this stimulatory effect is mediated by MAPK signaling.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the previously reported anti-atherogenic effects of sesamol and sesame oil could be attributed, at least in part, to enhanced PPARγ1 and LXRα expression and transcriptional activity leading to improved macrophage cholesterol efflux. Our study is novel in elucidating the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the protective effects of sesamol and sesame oil against atherosclerosis.