The receptor for advanced glycation endproducts (RAGE) is a pattern recognition receptor, being activated by different ligands such as S100 proteins, HMGB1 (amphoterin), β-amyloid peptide and advanced glycation endproducts (AGE). RAGE activation influences a wide range of pathological conditions such as diabetes, pro-inflammatory states and neurodegenerative processes. Here, we investigated the involvement of different mitogen-activated protein kinases (
ERK1/2, p38 and JNK), PKC, PKA and Akt in the up-regulation of RAGE by retinol.
As previously reported, we observed that the increase in RAGE immunocontent by retinol is reversed by antioxidant co-treatment, indicating the involvement of oxidative stress in this process. Furthermore, the p38 inhibitor SB203580 and the Akt inhibitor LY294002 also decreased the effect of retinol on RAGE levels, suggesting the involvement of these protein kinases in such effect.
Both p38 and Akt phosphorylation were increased by treatment with pro-oxidant concentrations of retinol, and the antioxidant co-treatment blocked this effect, indicating that activation of p38 and Akt during retinol treatment is dependent on reactive species production.
The 2',7'-dichlorohydrofluorescein diacetate (DCFH) assay also indicated that retinol treatment enhances cellular reactive species production. Altogether, these data indicate that RAGE up-regulation by retinol is mediated by the free radical-dependent activation of p38 and Akt.