We investigated whether hyperglycemia and/or free fatty acids (palmitate, PAL) affect the expression level of bone morphogenic protein 4 (BMP4), a proatherogenic marker, in endothelial cells and the potential role of BMP4 in diabetic vascular complications.Design and Method:
To measure BMP4 expression, human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were exposed to high glucose concentrations and/or PAL for 24 or 72 h, and the effects of these treatments on the expression levels of adhesion molecules and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were examined. BMP4 loss-of-function status was achieved via transfection of a BMP4-specific siRNA.Results:
High glucose levels increased BMP4 expression in HUVECs in a dose-dependent manner. PAL potentiated such expression. The levels of adhesion molecules and ROS production increased upon treatment with high glucose and/or PAL, but this effect was negated when BMP4 was knocked down via siRNA. Signaling of BMP4, a proinflammatory and pro-atherogenic cytokine marker, was increased by hyperglycemia and PAL. BMP4 induced the expression of inflammatory adhesion molecules and ROS production.Conclusions:
Our work suggests that BMP4 plays a role in atherogenesis induced by high glucose levels and/or PAL.