Effects of thyroid-stimulating hormone on adhesion molecules and pro-inflammatory cytokines secretion in human umbilical vein endothelial cells

Attabak Toofani Milani , Mohammad Khadem-Ansari , Yousef Rasmi


Atherosclerosis is a multifactorial disorder, which affects the arterial wall. It has been reported that, hypothyroidism and thyroid hormone deficiency are related to cardiovascular disorders. Also, endothelial dysfunction plays an essential role in the development of atherosclerosis. We aimed to evaluate the effects of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) on pro-inflammatory tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), angiogenic vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and leukocyte adhesion, intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) and E-selectin in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). In this study, HUVEC cells were treated with 1 and 2 µM of TSH in different treatment times. The gene and protein expression of ICAM-1, VEGF, and E-selectin were performed by real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blotting, respectively. Likewise, TNF-α and IL-6 protein levels were determined by the ELISA method. VEGF, ICAM-1, and E-selectin as endothelial dysfunction markers and also, TNF-α and IL-6 as pro-inflammatory cytokines were detectable in HUVEC. Besides, the results of this study revealed that TSH treatment down-regulates TNF-α and IL-6. Evaluating the gene and protein expression data revealed the upregulation of ICAM-1, E-selectin, and VEGF in TSH treated cases in different periods of exposure. Considering the multiple actions of TSH, it could be concluded that TSH plays a controversial role in atherogenesis by anti-inflammatory effects and on the other side, angiogenesis and leukocyte adhesion induction which is related to vascular cell proliferation.


Keywords: E-selectin; HUVEC; ICAM-1; Thyrotropin; TNF-α; VEGF.

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