Macrophage-derived foam cells freshly isolated from rabbit atherosclerotic lesions degrade modified lipoproteins, promote oxidation of low-density lipoproteins, and contain oxidation-specific lipid-protein adducts
Rosenfeld, M.E.; Khoo, J.C.; Miller, E.; Parthasarathy, S.; Palinski, W.; Witztum, J.L.
Journal of Clinical Investigation 87(1): 90-99
ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9738 PMID: 1985115 Accession: 040620461
Pure macrophage-derived foam cells (MFC) were isolated from the aortas of rabbits made atherosclerotic by balloon deendothelialization followed by diet-induced hypercholesterolemia. The MFC were isolated under sterile conditions using an enzymatic digestion procedure and discontinuous density gradient centrifugation. The purity of the MFC preparations was verified immunocytochemically with the macrophage specific monoclonal antibody RAM-11. MFC plated in medium containing 0.5% FCS for 24 h contained approximately 600 micrograms cholesterol per mg cell protein, 80% of which was esterified cholesterol. The MFC specifically degraded low density lipoprotein (LDL), acetyl-LDL, copper oxidized LDL, and beta-very low density lipoprotein (beta-VLDL) at rates comparable to mouse peritoneal macrophages (MPM) in 5-h assays. MFC within sections of the atherosclerotic lesions from the ballooned rabbits as well as the MFC isolated from the same lesions in the presence of antioxidants, exhibited positive immunoreactivity with polyclonal guinea pig antisera and mouse monoclonal antibodies directed against malondialdehyde-LDL, and 4-hydroxynonal-LDL. The MFC also exhibited the capacity to induce the oxidation of LDL at rates comparable to those exhibited by MPM and rabbit aortic endothelial cells. These data provide direct evidence that arterial wall macrophages express modified LDL receptors in vivo, contain epitopes found in oxidized-LDL and are capable of oxidizing LDL even when maximally loaded with cholesterol.