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BACKGROUND - Our aim was to evaluate lipid trafficking and inflammatory response of macrophages exposed to lipoproteins from subjects with moderate to severe chronic kidney disease (CKD), and to investigate the potential benefits of activating cellular cholesterol transporters via liver X receptor (LXR) agonism.
METHODS - LDL and HDL were isolated by sequential density gradient ultracentrifugation of plasma from patients with stage 3-4 CKD and individuals without kidney disease (HDL and HDL, respectively). Uptake of LDL, cholesterol efflux to HDL, and cellular inflammatory responses were assessed in human THP-1 cells. HDL effects on inflammatory markers (MCP-1, TNF-α, IL-1β), Toll-like receptors-2 (TLR-2) and - 4 (TLR-4), ATP-binding cassette class A transporter (ABCA1), NF-κB, extracellular signal regulated protein kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) were assessed by RT-PCR and western blot before and after in vitro treatment with an LXR agonist.
RESULTS - There was no difference in macrophage uptake of LDL isolated from CKD versus controls. By contrast, HD was significantly less effective than HDL in accepting cholesterol from cholesterol-enriched macrophages (median 20.8% [IQR 16.1-23.7] vs control (26.5% [IQR 19.6-28.5]; p = 0.008). LXR agonist upregulated ABCA1 expression and increased cholesterol efflux to HDL of both normal and CKD subjects, although the latter continued to show lower efflux capacity. HDL increased macrophage cytokine response (TNF-α, MCP-1, IL-1β, and NF-κB) versus HDL. The heightened cytokine response to HDL was further amplified in cells treated with LXR agonist. The LXR-augmentation of inflammation was associated with increased TLR-2 and TLR-4 and ERK1/2.
CONCLUSIONS - Moderate to severe impairment in kidney function promotes foam cell formation that reflects impairment in cholesterol acceptor function of HDL. Activation of cellular cholesterol transporters by LXR agonism improves but does not normalize efflux to HDL. However, LXR agonism actually increases the pro-inflammatory effects of HDL through activation of TLRs and ERK1/2 pathways.
Large-scale meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified >175 loci associated with fasting cholesterol levels, including total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and triglycerides (TG). With differences in linkage disequilibrium (LD) structure and allele frequencies between ancestry groups, studies in additional large samples may detect new associations. We conducted staged GWAS meta-analyses in up to 69,414 East Asian individuals from 24 studies with participants from Japan, the Philippines, Korea, China, Singapore, and Taiwan. These meta-analyses identified (P < 5 × 10-8) three novel loci associated with HDL-C near CD163-APOBEC1 (P = 7.4 × 10-9), NCOA2 (P = 1.6 × 10-8), and NID2-PTGDR (P = 4.2 × 10-8), and one novel locus associated with TG near WDR11-FGFR2 (P = 2.7 × 10-10). Conditional analyses identified a second signal near CD163-APOBEC1. We then combined results from the East Asian meta-analysis with association results from up to 187,365 European individuals from the Global Lipids Genetics Consortium in a trans-ancestry meta-analysis. This analysis identified (log10Bayes Factor ≥6.1) eight additional novel lipid loci. Among the twelve total loci identified, the index variants at eight loci have demonstrated at least nominal significance with other metabolic traits in prior studies, and two loci exhibited coincident eQTLs (P < 1 × 10-5) in subcutaneous adipose tissue for BPTF and PDGFC. Taken together, these analyses identified multiple novel lipid loci, providing new potential therapeutic targets.
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Oxidative stress and inflammation are two major contributing factors to atherosclerosis, a leading cause of cardiovascular disease. Oxidation of phospholipids on the surface of low density lipoprotein (LDL) particles generated under oxidative stress has been associated with the progression of atherosclerosis, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain poorly defined. We identified a novel series of oxidation products containing the cyclopentenone moiety, termed deoxy-A/J-isoprostanes-phosphocholine, from 1-palmitoyl-2-arachidonoyl--glycero-3-phosphocholine using mass spectrometry and by comparison to a chemically synthesized standard. Transcriptomic analysis (RNA-seq) demonstrated that these compounds affected >200 genes in bone marrow-derived macrophages, and genes associated with inflammatory and anti-oxidative responses are among the top 5 differentially expressed. To further investigate the biological relevance of these novel oxidized phospholipids in atherosclerosis, we chemically synthesized a representative compound 1-palmitoyl-2-15-deoxy-δ-12,14-prostaglandin J--glycero-3-phosphocholine (15d-PGJ-PC) and found that it induced anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant responses in macrophages through modulation of NF-κB, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), and Nrf2 pathways; this compound also showed potent anti-inflammatory properties in a mice model of LPS-induced systematic inflammatory response syndrome. Additionally, 15d-PGJ-PC inhibited macrophage foam cell formation, suggesting a beneficial role against atherosclerosis. These properties were consistent with decreased levels of these compounds in the plasma of patients with coronary heart disease compared with control subjects. Our findings uncovered a novel molecular mechanism for the negative regulation of inflammation and positive enhancement of anti-oxidative responses in macrophages by these oxidized phospholipids in LDL in the context of atherosclerosis.
© 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
SIGNIFICANCE - Oxidative stress is considered to be an important component of various diseases. A vast number of methods have been developed and used in virtually all diseases to measure the extent and nature of oxidative stress, ranging from oxidation of DNA to proteins, lipids, and free amino acids.
RECENT ADVANCES - An increased understanding of the biology behind diseases and redox biology has led to more specific and sensitive tools to measure oxidative stress markers, which are very diverse and sometimes very low in abundance.
CRITICAL ISSUES - The literature is very heterogeneous. It is often difficult to draw general conclusions on the significance of oxidative stress biomarkers, as only in a limited proportion of diseases have a range of different biomarkers been used, and different biomarkers have been used to study different diseases. In addition, biomarkers are often measured using nonspecific methods, while specific methodologies are often too sophisticated or laborious for routine clinical use.
FUTURE DIRECTIONS - Several markers of oxidative stress still represent a viable biomarker opportunity for clinical use. However, positive findings with currently used biomarkers still need to be validated in larger sample sizes and compared with current clinical standards to establish them as clinical diagnostics. It is important to realize that oxidative stress is a nuanced phenomenon that is difficult to characterize, and one biomarker is not necessarily better than others. The vast diversity in oxidative stress between diseases and conditions has to be taken into account when selecting the most appropriate biomarker.
OBJECTIVES - Toll-like Receptor 4 (TLR4) is implicated in modulating inflammatory cytokines though its role in atherosclerosis remains uncertain. We have recently described a non-foam cell macrophage phenotype driven by ingestion of hemoglobin:haptoglobin complexes (HH), via the scavenger receptor CD163, characterized by reduced inflammatory cytokine production. In this study, we examined the role of iron metabolism in modulating TLR4 signaling in these cells.
METHODS AND RESULTS - Areas in human atherosclerotic plaque with non-foam cell, CD163 positive macrophages demonstrated reduced expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interferon-beta (INF-β) compared to foam cells. Human macrophages differentiated in hemoglobin:haptoglobin (HH) complexes expressed the CD163 positive non-foam cell phenotype and demonstrated significantly less TNF-α and INF-β compared to control macrophages when exposed to oxidized LDL (oxLDL) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS). LPS stimulated expression of TNF-α and INF-β could be restored in HH macrophages by pretreatment with hepcidin, an endogenous suppressor of ferroportin1 (FPN), or by genetic suppression of FPN in macrophages derived from myeloid specific FPN knockout mice. LPS stimulated control macrophages demonstrated increase in TLR4 trafficking to lipid rafts; this response was suppressed in HH macrophages but was restored upon pretreatment with hepcidin. Using a pharmacologic hepcidin suppressor, we observed a decrease in cytokine expression and TLR4-lipid raft trafficking in LPS-stimulated in a murine macrophage model.
CONCLUSION - TLR4 dependent macrophage signaling is controlled via hepcidin-ferroportin1 axis by influencing TLR4-lipid raft interactions. Pharmacologic manipulation of iron metabolism may represent a promising approach to limiting TLR4-mediated inflammatory responses.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Substitution of -CD2- at the reactive centers of linoleic and linolenic acids reduces the rate of abstraction of D by a tocopheryl radical by as much as 36-fold, compared to the abstraction of H from a corresponding -CH2- center. This H atom transfer reaction is the rate-determining step in the tocopherol-mediated peroxidation of lipids in human low-density lipoproteins, a process that has been linked to coronary artery disease. The unanticipated large kinetic isotope effects reported here for the tocopherol-mediated oxidation of linoleic and linolenic acids and esters suggests that tunneling makes this process favorable.
RATIONALE - Lipoprotein apheresis (LA) reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels in patients with severe familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). We have recently reported that >30% of plasma proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin 9 (PCSK9) is bound to LDL, thus we predicted that LA would also reduce plasma PCSK9 levels by removing LDL.
OBJECTIVE - Pre- and post-apheresis plasma from 6 patients with familial hypercholesterolemia on 3 consecutive treatment cycles was used to determine changes in PCSK9 levels.
METHODS AND RESULTS - LA drastically reduced plasma LDL (by 77 ± 4%). Concomitantly, PCSK9 levels fell by 52 ± 5%, strongly correlating with the LDL drop (P=0.0322; r(2)=0.26), but not with decreases in triglyceride (49 ± 13%) or high-density lipoprotein levels (18 ± 2%). Levels of albumin, creatinine, and CK-MB did not show significant changes after LA. Similar to LDL, PCSK9 levels returned to pretreatment values between cycles (2-week intervals). Fractionation of pre- and post-apheresis plasma showed that 81 ± 11% of LDL-bound PCSK9 and 48 ± 14% of apolipoprotein B-free PCSK9 were removed. Separation of whole plasma, purified LDL, or the apolipoprotein B-free fraction through a scaled-down, experimental dextran sulfate cellulose beads column produced similar results.
CONCLUSIONS - Our results show, for the first time, that modulation of LDL levels by LA directly affects plasma PCSK9 levels, and suggest that PCSK9 reduction is an additional benefit of LA. Because the loss of PCSK9 could contribute to the LDL-lowering effect of LA, then (1) anti-PCSK9 therapies may reduce frequency of LA in patients currently approved for therapy, and (2) LA and anti-PCSK9 therapies may be used synergistically to reduce treatment burden.
Over the last decade, research has identified a class of bone marrow-derived circulating stem cells, termed endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), that are capable of homing to vascular lesions in the eye and contributing to pathological ocular neovascularization (NV). In preclinical and biological studies, EPCs are -frequently identified and tracked using a intracellularly loaded fluorescent tracer, 1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbo cyanine perchlorate-labeled acetylated LDL (DiI-acLDL). However, this method is limited by photobleaching and insufficient quantum efficiency for long-term imaging applications. We have developed a method for conjugation of high quantum efficiency, photostable, and multispectral quantum dot nanocrystals (QD) to acLDL for long-term tracking of EPCs with improved signal-to-noise ratios. Specifically, we conjugated QD to acLDL (QD-acLDL) and used this conjugated fluorophore to label a specific CD34(+) subpopulation of EPCs isolated from rat bone marrow. We then utilized this method to track CD34(+) EPCs in a rat model of laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (LCNV) to evaluate its potential for tracking EPCs in ocular angiogenesis, a critical pathologic feature of several blinding conditions.
Nanoparticles of heavy materials such as gold can be used as markers in quantitative electron microscopic studies of protein distributions in cells with nanometer spatial resolution. Studying nanoparticles within the context of cells is also relevant for nanotoxicological research. Here, we report a method to quantify the locations and the number of nanoparticles, and of clusters of nanoparticles inside whole eukaryotic cells in three dimensions using scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) tomography. Whole-mount fixed cellular samples were prepared, avoiding sectioning or slicing. The level of membrane staining was kept much lower than is common practice in transmission electron microscopy (TEM), such that the nanoparticles could be detected throughout the entire cellular thickness. Tilt-series were recorded with a limited tilt-range of 80° thereby preventing excessive beam broadening occurring at higher tilt angles. The 3D locations of the nanoparticles were nevertheless determined with high precision using computation. The obtained information differed from that obtained with conventional TEM tomography data since the nanoparticles were highlighted while only faint contrast was obtained on the cellular material. Similar as in fluorescence microscopy, a particular set of labels can be studied. This method was applied to study the fate of sequentially up-taken low-density lipoprotein (LDL) conjugated to gold nanoparticles in macrophages. Analysis of a 3D reconstruction revealed that newly up-taken LDL-gold was delivered to lysosomes containing previously up-taken LDL-gold thereby forming onion-like clusters.