Study Title:

Alkylglycerols Help Endothelial Cells Compensate for Low Oxygen Stress

Study Abstract

Supplementation of cultured human pulmonary arterial endothelial cells (PAEC) with sn-1-O-hexadecylglycerol (HG) resulted in an approximately twofold increase in cellular levels of plasmalogens, a subclass of phospholipids known to have antioxidant properties; this was due, primarily, to a fourfold increase in the choline plasmalogens. Exposure of unsupplemented human PAEC to hypoxia (PO(2) = 20-25 mmHg) caused an increase in cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) over a period of 5 days with a coincident decrease in viability. In contrast, HG-supplemented cells survived for at least 2 wk under these conditions with no evidence of increased ROS. Hypoxia resulted in a selective increase in the turnover of the plasmalogen plasmenylethanolamine. Human PAEC with elevated plasmalogen levels were also more resistant to H(2)O(2), hyperoxia, and the superoxide generator plumbagin. This protection was seemingly specific to cellular stresses in which significant ROS were generated because the sensitivity to lethal heat shock or glucose deprivation was not altered in HG-treated human PAEC. HG, by itself, was not sufficient for protection; HG supplementation of bovine PAEC had no effect upon plasmalogen levels and did not rescue these cells from the cytotoxic effects of hypoxia. This is the initial demonstration that plasmalogen content can be substantially enhanced in a normal cell. These data also demonstrate that HG can protect cells during hypoxia and other ROS-mediated stress, likely due to the resulting increase in these antioxidant phospholipids.

Study Information

Zoeller RA, Grazia TJ, LaCamera P, Park J, Gaposchkin DP, Farber HW.
Increasing plasmalogen levels protects human endothelial cells during hypoxia.
Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol.
2002 August
Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Boston University School of Medicine, 715 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118, USA.

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