Oxidized LDL upregulates macrophage DPP4 expression via TLR4/TRIF/CD36 pathways

Xiaoquan Rao, Shi Zhao, Zachary Braunstein, Hong Mao, Michael Razavi, Lihua Duan, Yingying Wei, Amelia C. Toomey, Sanjay Rajagopalan, Jixin Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: We and others have shown that dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (DPP4) expression is increased in obesity/atherosclerosis and is positively correlated with atherosclerotic burden. However, the mechanism by which DPP4 expression is regulated in obesity remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the pathways regulating the expression of DPP4 on macrophages. Methods: Flowsight® Imaging Flow Cytometry was employed for the detection of DPP4 and immunophenotyping. DPP4 enzymatic activity was measured by a DPPIV-Glo™ Protease Assay kit. Findings: Human monocytes expressed a moderate level of membrane-bound DPP4. Obese patients with body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 had a higher level of monocyte DPP4 expression, in parallel with higher levels of HOMA-IR, blood glucose, triglycerides, and non-HDL cholesterol, compared to those in the non-obese (BMI < 30) patients. Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL), but not native LDL, up-regulated DPP4 expression on macrophages with a preferential increase in CD36 + cells. OxLDL mediated DPP4 up-regulation was considerably diminished by Toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4) knockdown and CD36 deficiency. TRIF deficiency, but not MyD88 deficiency, attenuated oxLDL-induced DPP4 increase. Interpretation: Our study suggests a key role for oxLDL and downstream CD36/TLR4/TRIF in regulating DPP4 expression. Increased DPP4 in response to oxidized lipids may represent an integrated mechanism linking post-prandial glucose metabolism to lipoprotein abnormality-potentiated atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-61
Number of pages12
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Dipeptidyl peptidase IV
  • Inflammation
  • Obesity
  • Oxidized LDL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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