Short-Chain Fatty Acids (Except Hexanoic Acid) Lower NF-kB Transactivation, Which Rescues Inflammation-Induced Decreased Apolipoprotein A-I Transcription in HepG2 Cells

Jehad Z. Tayyeb*, Herman E. Popeijus, Ronald P. Mensink, Maurice C. J. M. Konings, Fatma B. A. Mokhtar, Jogchum Plat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Concentrations of apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I) decrease during inflammation, which may lead to dysfunctional ApoA-I-poor high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles, and as such, elevate cardiovascular risk. Therefore, rescuing ApoA-I concentrations, especially during inflammation, seems beneficial. Recently, short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) have received more attention as a strategy in reversing atherosclerosis. We here evaluated the effects of SCFAs on inflammatory pathways in relation to ApoA-I transcription. SCFAs dose–response studies were performed in the presence and absence of inflammatory cytokines. ApoA-I and interleukin 8 (IL-8) mRNA expression were analyzed using qPCR and ELISA, respectively. To study underlying mechanisms, nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) transactivation and changes in mRNA expressions of the genes targets of bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET) inhibition, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha (PPARα) transactivation and activator protein 1 (AP-1) pathway were analyzed. SCFAs (except hexanoic acid) increased ApoA-I mRNA transcription in both normal and inflammatory conditions and lowered IL-8 mRNA expression. This anti-inflammatory effect of SCFAs was confirmed by inhibition of NF-κB transactivation. Moreover, butyric acid increased carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1), PPARα target gene, mRNA transcription in both conditions, and there was a negative correlation between CPT1 and NF-κB. Therefore, PPARα transactivation is probably involved in the anti-inflammatory effects of SCFAs, which rescues ApoA-I transcription. In conclusion, propionate, butyrate and valerate elicit anti-inflammatory effects which might rescue ApoA-I transcription in inflammatory conditions via PPARα transactivation mediated NF-κB inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5088
Number of pages12
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2020


  • ApoA-I
  • inflammation
  • NF-kappa B
  • PPAR alpha
  • SCFAs

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