Superoxide anion participation in human monocyte-mediated oxidation of low-density lipoprotein and conversion of low-density lipoprotein to a cytotoxin
Cathcart, M.K.; McNally, A.K.; Morel, D.W.; Chisolm, G.M.
Journal of Immunology 142(6): 1963-1969
ISSN/ISBN: 0022-1767 PMID: 2537865 Accession: 041489402
Human monocytes, upon activation with opsonized zymosan, altered low-density lipoprotein (LDL) during a 24-h co-incubation, resulting in its oxidation and acquisition of cytotoxic activity against target fibroblast cell lines. Both the oxidation of LDL and its conversion to a cytotoxin were enhanced with time of incubation, with the most substantial changes occurring after 6 h of culture of LDL with activated monocytes. Unactivated monocytes did not mediate either alteration. Superoxide anion (O2-) participated in both the oxidation of LDL and its conversion to a cytotoxin since addition of superoxide dismutase (SOD) at the beginning of the co-incubation inhibited, in a concentration dependent fashion, both the monocyte-mediated oxidation and the monocyte-mediated conversion of LDL to a cytotoxin. As expected, the rate of superoxide anion release was greatest during the respiratory burst, very early in the 24-h incubation (0 to 2 h); however, exposure of LDL to monocytes during the respiratory burst was not required for LDL oxidation. The lower levels of O2- released by the cells hours after the respiratory burst had subsided were sufficient to lead to the initiation of LDL oxidation. Three results indicated that the oxidative modification of LDL into a cytotoxin required O2(-)-independent free radical propagation after O2(-)-dependent initiation. First, oxidation of LDL exposed to the activated, superoxide anion-releasing monocytes for 6 h could be almost completely blocked by the addition at 6 h of the general free radical scavenger butylated hydroxytoluene, but not by SOD. Second, LDL oxidation proceeded even after removal of LDL from the superoxide anion-producing, activated cells after various durations of exposure. Third, the development of substantial levels of lipid peroxidation products and the development of greater cytotoxicity occurred after 6 h of exposure of LDL to activated cells, long after peak O2- release had subsided. These results lead us to conclude that monocyte-mediated oxidation of LDL, leading to its transformation into a cytotoxin, requires release of O2- occurring as a result of activation but not necessarily during the respiratory burst, and also requires O2(-)-independent free radical propagation. The modification of LDL into a potent toxin by activated monocytes may explain the tissue damage in atherosclerotic lesions and other pathologic sites in which inflammatory cells congregate.