Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Objective-Nicotinic acid (NA) treatment has been associated with benefits in atherosclerosis that are usually attributed to effects on plasma lipoproteins. The NA receptor GPR109A is expressed in monocytes and macrophages, suggesting a possible additional role for NA in modulating function of these immune cells. We hypothesize that NA has the potential to act directly on monocytes to alter mediators of inflammation that may contribute to its antiatherogenic effects in vivo. Methods and Results-In human monocytes activated by Toll-like receptor (TLR)-4 agonist lipopolysaccharide, NA reduced secretion of proinflammatory mediators: TNF-α (by 49.2±4.5%); interleukin-6 (by 56.2±2.8%), and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (by 43.2±3.1%) (P<0.01). In TLR2 agonist, heat-killed Listeria monocytogenes-activated human monocytes, NA reduced secretion of TNF-α(by 48.6±7.1%), interleukin-6 (by 60.9±1.6%), and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (by 59.3±5.3%) (P<0.01; n=7). Knockdown of GPR109A by siRNA resulted in a loss of this anti-inflammatory effect in THP-1 monocytes. However, inhibition of prostaglandin D2 receptor by MK0524 or COX2 by NS398 did not alter the anti-inflammatory effects of NA observed in activated human monocytes. Preincubation of THP-1 monocytes with NA 0.1 mmol/L reduced phosphorylated IKKβl by 42±2% (P<0.001) IKB-β by 54±14% (P<0.01). Accumulation of nuclear p65 NF-κB in response to lipopolysaccharide treatment was also profoundly inhibited, by 89±1.3% (n=4; P<0.01). NA potently inhibited monocyte adhesion to activated HUVEC, and VCAM, mediated by the integrin, very late antigen 4. Monocyte chemotaxis was also significantly reduced (by 45.7±1.2%; P<0.001). Conclusion-NA displays a range of effects that are lipoprotein-independent and potentially antiatherogenic. These effects are mediated by GPR109A and are independent of prostaglandin pathways. They suggest a rationale for treatment with NA that is not dependent on levels of plasma cholesterol and possible applications beyond the treatment of dyslipidemia. © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.

Original publication




Journal article


Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology

Publication Date





669 - 676