Triacylglycerol-induced impairment in mitochondrial biogenesis and function in J774.2 and mouse peritoneal macrophage foam cells

Anna Aronis, Michal Aharoni-Simon, Zecharia Madar, Oren Tirosh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to detect mitochondrial alterations in J774.2 macrophages and mouse peritoneal macrophages (MPM) foam cells. J774.2 and MPM cells were exposed to triacylglycerol (TG) emulsion (1 mg/ml) for induction of fat accumulation. Impairment of mitochondrial function was reflected by reduced cellular ATP production and decreased expression of subunits of mitochondrial complexes I and III. The expression of subunit IV of complex IV remained unchanged, however, the content of its precursor in cells increased. Inhibitors of mitochondrial complexes, rotenone (0.1 μM) and myxothiazol (25 nM), protected the viability in TG-loaded macrophages. The exposure to TG caused downregulation of PPARγ coactivator (PGC)-1α and nuclear respiratory factor (NRF)-1. Activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors attenuated reactive oxygen species production in the foam cells. Treatment with antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) prevented lipid-mediated mitochondrial and cellular damage. In conclusion, this study demonstrates the important role of mitochondrial biogenesis dysfunction in TG-induced lipotoxicity in macrophages.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)74-81
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant of the ISF No. 377/06 to O.T. and Z.M. We also acknowledge the Center of Diabetes Research of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for their support with a scholarship to A.A.


  • Antioxidants
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Lipotoxicity
  • Macrophages
  • Mitochondria


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