Modulation of cell proliferation and gene expression by alpha-tocopheryl phosphates: relevance to atherosclerosis and inflammation

Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Adelina MunteanuA Azzi


The effect of a mixture of alpha-tocopheryl phosphate and di-alpha-tocopheryl phosphate (TPm) was studied in vitro on two cell lines, RASMC (from rat aortic smooth muscle) and human THP-1 monocytic leukaemia cells. Inhibition of cell proliferation by TPm was shown in both lines and occurred with TPm at concentrations lower than those at which alpha-tocopherol was equally inhibitory. TPm led in non-stimulated THP-1 cells to inhibition of CD36 mRNA and protein expression, to inhibition of oxidized low density lipoprotein surface binding and oxLDL uptake. In non-stimulated THP-1 cells, alpha-tocopherol had only very weak effects on these events. Contrary to alpha-tocopherol, TPm was cytotoxic to THP-1 cells at high concentrations. Thus, TPm is able to inhibit the major aggravating elements involved in the progression of atherosclerosis. The higher potency of TPm may be due to a better uptake of the molecule and to its intracellular hydrolysis, providing more alpha-tocopherol to sensitive sites. Alternatively, a direct effect of the phosphate ester on specific cell targets may be considered.


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