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Upregulation of TNF-α by Triglycerides is Mediated by MEK1 Activation in Jurkat T Cells
Biomed. Sci. Lett. 2018;24:213-220
Published online September 30, 2018;
© 2018 The Korean Society For Biomedical Laboratory Sciences.

Jaewon Lim§,*, Eun Ju Yang§,* and Jeong Hyun Chang†,*

Department of Clinical Laboratory Science, College of Medical Sciences, Daegu Haany University, Gyeongsan 38610, Korea
Correspondence to: Jeong Hyun Chang. Department of Clinical Laboratory Science, College of Medical Science, Daegu Haany University, Gyeongsan 38610, Korea.
Tel: +82-53-819-1350, Fax: +82-53-819-1353, e-mail:
§These authors contributed equally to this manuscript.
Received August 17, 2018; Revised September 12, 2018; Accepted September 13, 2018.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Triglyceride (TG) is known to be associated with inflammatory disease including atherosclerosis. In a variety of atherosclerosis models, T lymphocytes are localized in the earliest lesions of atherosclerosis. T cell associated cytokines such as TNF-α and IFN-γ have pre-dominant inflammatory effects in chronic vascular diseases. In our previous study, we found that the expression of TNF-α and its receptor, TNF-αR was increased when Jurkat T lymphocyte cell lines were exposed to TGs. Therefore, experiments were conducted to determine which cell signaling pathway are involved in the increase of TNF-α and TNF-αR expression by TGs. To identify signal transduction pathways involved in TG-induced upregulation of TNF-α, we treated TG-exposed Jurkat T cells with specific inhibitors for MEK1, PI3K, NF-κB and PKC. We found that inhibition of the MEK1 pathway blocked TG-induced upregulation of TNF-α. However, the expression level of TNF-αR did not change with any signal transduction inhibitor. Based on this observation, we suggest that increase of exogenous TG induces increase of TNF-α expression through MEK1 pathway in Jurkat T cells. In addition, it was confirmed that the increase of TNF-α and TNF-αR expression by TGs occurs via different pathways.
Keywords : Triglyceride (TG), TNF-α, TNF-αR, MEK1, Jurkat T cells