Autophagy in crotonaldehyde-induced endothelial toxicity

Seung Eun Lee, Hye Rim Park, Cheung Seog Park, Hyun Jong Ahn, Jeong Je Cho, Jongsung Lee, Yong Seek Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1137
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Autophagy
  • Cell death
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Crotonaldehyde
  • Endothelial cells
  • Oxidative stress
  • Vascular disease


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