Beta-Carotene inhibits the oxidative modification of low-density lipoprotein

Jialal, I.; Norkus, E.P.; Cristol, L.; Grundy, S.M.

Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1086(1): 134-138


ISSN/ISBN: 0006-3002
PMID: 1954240
DOI: 10.1016/0005-2760(91)90164-d
Accession: 041996277

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Several lines of evidence indicate that oxidized LDL (Ox-LDL) may promote atherogenesis. Hence, the role of antioxidants in the prevention of LDL oxidation needs to be determined. beta-Carotene, in addition to being an efficient quencher of singlet oxygen, can also function as a radical-trapping antioxidant. Since previous studies have failed to show that beta-carotene inhibits LDL oxidation, we re-examined its effect on the oxidative modification of LDL. For these studies, LDL was oxidized in both a cell-free (2.5 microM Cu2+ in PBS) and a cellular system (human monocyte macrophages in Ham's F-10 medium). beta-Carotene inhibited the oxidative modification of LDL in both systems as evidenced by a decrease in the lipid peroxide content (thiobarbituric-acid-reacting substances activity), the negative charge of LDL (electrophoretic mobility) and the formation of conjugated dienes. By inhibiting LDL oxidation, beta-carotene substantially decreased its degradation by macrophages. beta-Carotene (2 microM) was more potent than alpha-tocopherol (40 microM) in inhibiting LDL oxidation. Thus, beta-carotene, like ascorbate and alpha-tocopherol, inhibits LDL oxidation and might have an important role in the prevention of atherosclerosis.