Rac1 regulates lipid droplets formation, nanomechanical, and nanostructural changes induced by TNF in vascular endothelium in the isolated murine aorta

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Abstract

Endothelial inflammation is recognized as a critical condition in the development of cardiovascular diseases. TNF-induced inflammation of endothelial cells is linked to the formation of lipid droplets, augmented cortical stiffness, and nanostructural endothelial plasma membrane remodelling, but the insight into the mechanism linking these responses is missing. In the present work, we determined the formation of lipid droplets (LDs), nanomechanical, and nanostructural responses in the model of TNF-activated vascular inflammation in the isolated murine aorta using Raman spectroscopy, fluorescence imaging, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). We analysed the possible role of Rac1, a major regulator of cytoskeletal organization, in TNF-induced vascular inflammation. We demonstrated that the formation of LDs, polymerization of F-actin, alterations in cortical stiffness, and nanostructural protuberances in endothelial plasma membrane were mediated by the Rac1. In particular, we revealed a significant role for Rac1 in the regulation of the formation of highly unsaturated LDs formed in response to TNF. Inhibition of Rac1 also downregulated the overexpression of ICAM-1 induced by TNF, supporting the role of Rac1 in vascular inflammation. Altogether, our results demonstrate that LDs formation, an integral component of vascular inflammation, is activated by Rac1 that also regulates nanomechanical and nanostructural alterations linked to vascular inflammation.

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Pacia, M. Z., Chorazy, N., Sternak, M., Fels, B., Pacia, M., Kepczynski, M., … Chlopicki, S. (2022). Rac1 regulates lipid droplets formation, nanomechanical, and nanostructural changes induced by TNF in vascular endothelium in the isolated murine aorta. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 79(6). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00018-022-04362-7

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