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Cytotoxic Effect of Triglycerides via Apoptotic Caspase Pathway in Immune and Non-immune Cell Lines
Biomed Sci Letters 2019;25:66-74
Published online March 31, 2019;
© 2019 The Korean Society For Biomedical Laboratory Sciences.

Jaewon Lim짠,*, Eun Ju Yang짠,* 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:
Received January 28, 2019; Revised February 25, 2019; Accepted March 12, 2019.
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.
Hyperlipidemia is defined as conditions of the accumulation of lipids such as free fatty acids (FFA), triglyceride (TG), cholesterol and/or phospholipid in the bloodstream. Hyperlipidemia can cause lipid accumulation in non-adipose tissue, which is lipid-cytotoxic effects in many tissues and mediates cell dysfunction, inflammation or programmed cell death (PCD). TG is considered to be a major cause of atherosclerosis through inflammatory necrosis of vascular endothelial cells. Recently, TG have also been shown to exhibit lipid-cytotoxicity and induce PCD. Therefore, we investigated the effect of TG on the cytotoxic effect of various cell types. When exposed to TG, the cell viability of U937 monocytes and Jurkat T lymphocytes, as well as the cell viability of MCF-7, a non-immune cell, decreased in time- and dose-dependent manner. In U937 cells and Jurkat cells, caspase-9, an intrinsic apoptotic caspase, and caspase-8, an extrinsic apoptotic caspase, were increased by exposure to TG. However, in TG-treated MCF-7 cells, caspase-8 activity increased only without caspase-9 activity. In addition, the reduction of cell viability by TG was recovered when all three cell lines were treated with pan-caspase inhibitor. These results suggest that activation of apoptotic caspases by TG causes lipotoxic effect and decreases cell viability.
Keywords : Triglyceride (TG), Lipotoxic effect, Apoptotic caspase, Caspase-8, Caspase-9