Noah Zucker

Effect Of Fatty Acid Structure On Endothelial Cell Connexin 43 Levels

Obesity is one of the greatest health concerns in the Western world due to the increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. The positive energy balance that occurs with obesity can increase circulating fatty acids. Elevations in fatty acids likely compromise vascular endothelial cell function thereby contributing to the increased disease risk. Connexin protein expression is an indicator of endothelial cell function with increases in Cx43 expression linked to poor cell health. Thus, we assessed the impact of fatty acids on the expression of Cx43 protein in vascular endothelial cells. In particular, we wanted to determine the impact of fatty acid structure. The concentration dependence of Cx43 expression by steric (saturated), oleic (cis), linoleic (omega-6), and eladic acid (trans) were assessed after 24 hr. In addition, time dependence (0.5, 2, 12, 24, and 48 hours) was assessed at the concentration that had the greatest Cx43 expression at 24 hrs. Linoleic and oleic acid exhibited a peak Cx43 expression at 30 µM.

Faculty Mentor: David Kurjiaka, Biomedical Science

Page last modified August 5, 2013