Cannabinoid receptors and their ligands have emerged as important regulators of cardiometabolic diseases such as dyslipidemia, obesity and atherosclerosis. Activation ofcannabinoid receptors by selective agonists can increase macrophages lipids accumulation andfoam cells formation, events that could be inhibited by the antagonist cannabidiol. Lipidsaccumulation in monocytes and macrophages was triggered by modulating the expression ofCD36/FAT scavenger receptor/fatty acids transporter and ABCA1/G1 cholesterol transporter as well as of inflammatory cytokines, events that could be inhibited by selective cannabinoid receptor antagonists. Several vitamin E analogues have been previously shown to reduce lipids accumulation in monocytes and macrophages in response to oxidized low density lipoproteins (oxLDL), but the molecular mechanisms are not completely resolved and may involve CD36-mediated regulatory effects on signal transduction and gene expression. Recently, an increasednumber of foam cells was detected in bronchoalveolar lavages and lungs in cases of vapingassociated pulmonary injury (VAPI) after inhaling e-cigarette smoke from products containing cannabinoids and possibly the vitamin E analogue, alpha-tocopherol acetate (±TA). To date, the role of vitamin E analogues in cannabinoid-induced foam cell formation has not been investigated. Therefore, in this project we will analyze whether vitamin E analogues and in particular ±TA affects foam cells formation in human monocytes and macrophages in response to oxLDL and cannabinoids.
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