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Ferroptosis is an iron-dependent programmed cell death characterized by the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Long-term high fat diet (HFD) was found to be associated with ferroptosis and cardiac injury. HFD-induced obesity is characterized by sustained, low-grade inflammation in adipose tissue, while macrophage infiltration plays a crucial role in inflammation. Exosomes (Exos) derived from adipose tissue macrophages (ATMs) participate in the physiological processes of recipient cells. In this study, we investigated the role of ATM-Exos in obesity-induced ferroptosis and cardiac injury. We found that HFD-induced obesity resulted in higher mRNA expression levels of specific markers, e.g., prostaglandin endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2), and increased the levels of lipid peroxides, including malondialdehyde (MDA) and 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE). Macrophages infiltrated the adipose tissues, as examined by flow cytometry. Exosomes derived from ATM-Exos were analyzed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA). Obese ATM-Exos administration induced higher levels of PTGS2, MDA, 4-HNE, lipid ROS, and mitochondrial injury. Obese ATM-Exos further provoked obvious cardiac injury, demonstrated by abnormal levels of cardiac enzymes and inflammatory factors. Systolic left ventricle (LV) function anomalies were induced by ATM-Exos in obese mice. miR-140-5p is abundant in obese ATM-Exos and promotes ferroptosis in cardiomyocytes. Solute carrier family 7 member 11 (SLC7A11) is a downstream target of miR-140-5p, which induces ferroptosis via inhibition of GSH synthesis by targeting SLC7A11. Attenuating exosomal-miR-140-5p expression alleviates ferroptosis and cardiac injury induced by obese ATM exosomes by alleviating GSH inhibition. In summary, the current study provides evidence that obese ATM-exosomal miR-140-5p promotes ferroptosis by regulating GSH synthesis and provides a novel therapeutic strategy for targeting obese ATM-Exos in obesity-induced cardiac injury. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Xin Zhao, Linjie Si, Jinhui Bian, Chunfeng Pan, Wen Guo, Pei Qin, Wenfang Zhu, Yang Xia, Qun Zhang, Ke Wei. Adipose tissue macrophage-derived exosomes induce ferroptosis via glutathione synthesis inhibition by targeting SLC7A11 in obesity-induced cardiac injury. Free radical biology & medicine. 2022 Mar;182:232-245

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PMID: 35271999

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