A functional role for eicosanoid-lysophospholipids in activating monocyte signaling

Gao Yuan Liu, Sung Ho Moon, Christopher M. Jenkins, Harold F. Sims, Shaoping Guan, Richard W. Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recently, eicosanoid-lysophospholipids were identified as novel metabolites generated from the direct cyclooxygenase- or lipoxygenase-catalyzed oxidation of 2-arachidonoyl-lysophospholipids produced from either phospholipase A1-mediated hydrolysis of diacyl arachidonoyl-phospholipids or through the cytochrome c-catalyzed oxidative hydrolysis of the vinyl ether linkage of arachidonoyl-plasmalogens. Although the metabolic pathways generating eicosanoid-lysophospholipids have been increasingly appreciated, the signaling functions of eicosanoid-lysophospholipids remain largely unknown. Herein, we demonstrate that 2-12(S)-HETE-lysophospholipids as well as nonesterified 12(S)-HETE are potent lipid mediators that activate THP-1 human monocytic cells to generate tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) and interleukin 8 (IL8). Remarkably, low nanomolar concentrations of 12(S)-HETE-lysophospholipids, but not other oxidized signaling lipids examined activated THP-1 cells resulting in the production of large amounts of TNFα. Moreover, TNFα release induced by 12(S)-HETE-lysophospholipids was inhibited by the TNFα converting enzyme inhibitor TAPI-0 indicating normal processing of TNFα in THP-1 cells stimulated with these agonists. Western blotting analyses revealed that 12(S)-HETE-lysophospholipids activated the phosphorylation of NFκB p65, suggesting activation of the canonical NFκB signaling pathway. Importantly, activation of THP-1 cells to release TNFα was stereoselective with 12(S)-HETE favored over 12(R)-HETE. Furthermore, the EC50 of 2-12(S)-HETE-lysophosphatidylcholine in activating THP-1 cells was 2.1 nm, whereas the EC50 of free 12(S)-HETE was 23 nm Additionally, lipid extracts of activated platelets were separated by RP-HPLC demonstrating the coelution of 12(S)-HETE with fractions initiating TNFα release. Collectively, these results demonstrate the potent signaling properties of 2-12(S)-HETE-lysophospholipids and 12(S)-HETE by their ability to release TNFα and activate NFκB signaling thereby revealing a previously unknown role of 2-12(S)-HETE-lysophospholipids in mediating inflammatory responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12167-12180
Number of pages14
JournalThe Journal of biological chemistry
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 21 2020


  • 12(S)-HETE
  • NFκB
  • cytokine
  • iPLA2γ
  • inflammation
  • lysophospholipid
  • oxidized lysophospholipids
  • phosphorylation

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