Toll-Like Receptor 4 Mutation Protects Obese Mice Against Endothelial Dysfunction by Decreasing NADPH Oxidase Isoforms 1 and 4

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To analyze the role of toll-like receptor 4 in modulating metabolism and endothelial function.

Approach and Results—

Type 2 diabetic mice with mutated toll-like receptor 4 (DWM) were protected from hyperglycemia and hypertension, despite an increased body weight. Isometric tension was measured in arterial rings with endothelium. Relaxations to acetylcholine were blunted in aortae and mesenteric arteries of Leprdb/db mice, but not in DWM mice; the endothelial NO synthase dimer/monomer ratio and endothelial NO synthase phosphorylation levels were higher in DWM preparations. These differences were abolished by apocynin. Contractions to acetylcholine (in the presence of L-NAME) were larger in carotid arteries from Leprdb/db mice than from DWM mice and were inhibited by indomethacin and SC560, demonstrating involvement of cyclooxygenase-1. The release of 6-ketoprostaglandin F1α was lower in DWM mice arteries, implying lower cyclooxygenase-1 activity. Apocynin, manganese(III) tetrakis(1-methyl-4-pyridyl) porphyrin, catalase, and diethyldithiocarbamate inhibited endothelium-dependent contractions. The mRNA and protein levels of NADPH oxidase isoforms NOX1 and NOX4 were downregulated in DWM mice arteries. The in vivo and in vitro administration of lipopolysaccharide caused endothelial dysfunction in the arteries of wild-type, but not toll-like receptor 4–mutated mice.


Toll-like receptor 4 plays a key role in obesity and diabetes-associated endothelial dysfunction by increasing oxidative stress.

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