Figure 7. mTOR inhibitor treatment rescues the proinflammatory effect of Pim-2 KD in THP-1-derived macrophages. (A) Representative western blot analysis of Pim-2, p-mTOR (Ser2448) and mTOR, p-S6K1 (Thr389) and S6K1, and p-4EBP1 (Thr37/46) and 4EBP1 in rapamycin-exposed ox-LDL-treated THP-1-derived macrophages after Pim-2 KD. β-Actin was used as a loading control. (B, C) Corresponding densitometric analysis of blots in (A). (D) Intracellular lipid droplets were stained with oil red O working solution in rapamycin-disposed ox-LDL-treated THP-1-derived macrophages after Pim-2 KD. (E) Quantification of positive staining for lipid droplets (n=3 per group). (F) mRNA expression of inflammatory cytokines, including IL-6, MCP-1, TLR-4 and TNF-α, was determined by quantitative RT-PCR in rapamycin-treated ox-LDL-treated THP-1-derived macrophages after Pim-2 KD; the values were normalized to the housekeeping gene GAPDH. (G) The concentrations of TC, FC, and CE were determined using the TC/FC Quantification Assay (n=3 per group). The data are represented as the means ± SD of three independent experiments; *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01 versus the NC group; &P < 0.05 versus the ox-LDL-treated NC group; #P < 0.05, ##P < 0.01, ###P < 0.001 versus the Pim-2 KD group; ΔP < 0.05 versus the Pim-2 KD group.