Cardiac inflammation associated with a Western diet is mediated via activation of RAGE by AGEs

Christos Tikellis, Merlin C. Thomas, Brooke E. Harcourt, Melinda T. Coughlan, Josepha Pete, Katarzyna Bialkowski, Adeline Tan, Angelika Bierhaus, Mark E. Cooper, Josephine M. Forbes

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53 Citations (Scopus)


A diet high in fat induces cardiac hypertrophy, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Although such actions have largely been ascribed to fat deposition, the accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and subsequent activation of the receptor for AGEs (RAGE) may also represent important mediators of cardiac injury following exposure to a Western diet. In this study, male C57BL6J and RAGE knockout mice were placed on either a standard diet (7% fat) or a Western "fast-food" diet (21% fat). Animals receiving a high-fat diet were further randomized to receive the AGE inhibitor alagebrium chloride (1 mg·kg-1·day-1) and followed for 16 wk. A Western diet was associated with cardiac hypertrophy, inflammation, mitochondrial-dependent superoxide production, and cardiac AGE accumulation in wild-type mice. Although RAGE-KO mice fed a Western diet also became obese and accumulated intramyocardial lipid, cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, inflammation, and oxidative stress were attenuated compared with wild-type mice. Similarly, mice of both strains receiving alagebrium chloride had reduced levels of inflammation and oxidative stress, in association with a reduction in cardiac AGEs and RAGE. This study suggests that AGEs represent important mediators of cardiac injury associated with a Western fast-food diet. These data point to the potential utility of AGE-reducing strategies in the prevention and management of cardiac disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-330
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Advanced glycation end products
  • Cardiac disease
  • Inflammation
  • Receptor for advanced glycation end products

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