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Role of simvastatin and RORα activity in the macrophage apoptotic pathway [Anatol J Cardiol]
Anatol J Cardiol. 2017; 17(5): 362-366 | DOI: 10.14744/AnatolJCardiol.2016.7411  

Role of simvastatin and RORα activity in the macrophage apoptotic pathway

Neslihan Çoban, Çağrı Güleç, Bilge Özsait Selçuk, Nihan Erginel Ünaltuna
Department of Genetics, Institute for Experimental Medicine, İstanbul University; İstanbul-Turkey

Objective: Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory condition and is one of the main causes of death worldwide. Macrophages play important roles in the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. Apoptosis is progressively observed while plaques develop, although the precise mechanisms and outcomes of apoptosis in atherosclerosis development and progression are still contradictory. This study was conducted to explore the ef- fects of simvastatin and retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor alpha (RORα) ligands on apoptosis in human acute monocytic leukemia (THP-1) macrophage cells.
Methods: Briefly, the occupancy of RORα in the promoter regions of apoptotic pathway genes was demonstrated in THP-1 cell lines using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis. In order to modulate RORα activity, THP-1 macrophage cells were treated with specific ligands (CPG52608 and SR1001) and then viability as well as count of THP-1 macrophage cells were analyzed.
Results: We observed that simvastatin and both RORα ligands had a tendency to decrease THP-1 macrophage cell viability in culture. When compared with non-treated controls, simvastatin significantly decreased cell viability (p=0.04) and cell count (p=0.03). However, this negative effect of simvastatin seemed to be partly prevented by RORα ligands. In addition, bioinformatics analysis of ChIP-on-chip data demonstrated that several genes that are involved in the apoptotic pathway were likely RORα target genes. These genes were involved in the regulation of apoptosis through various pathways.
Conclusion: In summary, our study suggest that simvastatin-mediated macrophage apoptosis might be modulated by SR1001 administration. However, involvement of RORα in this modulation through potential apoptotic target genes remains elusive. (Anatol J Cardiol 2017; 17: 000-00)

Keywords: RORα ligands, atherosclerosis, simvastatin, apoptosis, THP-1 macrophage, cell viability


Neslihan Çoban, Çağrı Güleç, Bilge Özsait Selçuk, Nihan Erginel Ünaltuna. Role of simvastatin and RORα activity in the macrophage apoptotic pathway. Anatol J Cardiol. 2017; 17(5): 362-366

Corresponding Author: Neslihan Çoban, Türkiye


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