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Autophagy in Crotonaldehyde-Induced Endothelial Toxicity

Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02447, Korea
Molecular Dermatology Laboratory, Department of Genetic Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul 88420, Korea
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Luciano Saso and Derek McPhee
Molecules 2019, 24(6), 1137;
Received: 18 February 2019 / Revised: 18 March 2019 / Accepted: 20 March 2019 / Published: 21 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemistry and Pharmacology of Modulators of Oxidative Stress 2018)
PDF [3984 KB, uploaded 28 March 2019]


Crotonaldehyde is an extremely toxic α,β-unsaturated aldehyde found in cigarette smoke, and it causes inflammation and vascular dysfunction. Autophagy has been reported to play a key role in the pathogenesis of vascular diseases. However, the precise mechanism underlying the role of acute exposure crotonaldehyde in vascular disease development remains unclear. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the effect of crotonaldehyde-induced autophagy in endothelial cells. Acute exposure to crotonaldehyde decreased cell viability and induced autophagy followed by cell death. In addition, inhibiting the autophagic flux markedly promoted the viability of endothelial cells exposed to high concentrations of crotonaldehyde. Crotonaldehyde activated the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways, and pretreatment with inhibitors specific to these kinases showed autophagy inhibition and partial improvement in cell viability. These data show that acute exposure to high concentrations of crotonaldehyde induces autophagy-mediated cell death. These results might be helpful to elucidate the mechanisms underlying crotonaldehyde toxicity in the vascular system and contribute to environmental risk assessment. View Full-Text
Keywords: crotonaldehyde; cigarette smoke; oxidative stress; autophagy; endothelial cells; cell death; vascular disease crotonaldehyde; cigarette smoke; oxidative stress; autophagy; endothelial cells; cell death; vascular disease

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Lee, S.E.; Park, H.R.; Park, C.-S.; Ahn, H.-J.; Cho, J.-J.; Lee, J.; Park, Y.S. Autophagy in Crotonaldehyde-Induced Endothelial Toxicity. Molecules 2019, 24, 1137.

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