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Atherosclerosis. 1991 Oct;90(2-3):203-9.

Chemotaxis of the monocyte cell line U937: dependence on cholesterol and early mevalonate pathway products.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, University Hospital, Heidelberg, F.R.G.


In the present study we investigated the influence of cholesterol depletion and hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMG-CoA reductase) inhibition on chemotaxis of the human monocytic cell line U937. Chemotaxis was nearly completely depressed after incubation for 24 h in the absence of lipoproteins. This was accompanied by a significant decrease in cellular cholesterol. Addition of 10 micrograms/ml low density lipoprotein (LDL) for 2 h to the cholesterol-depleted cells restored chemotaxis. Free cholesterol had no effect under these conditions. Inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase by pravastatin (0.01-1.0 mM) for 20 or 72 h also reduced chemotaxis. However, this effect was not accompanied by a decrease in cellular cholesterol when cells were grown in the presence of lipoproteins. The effect of pravastatin could be reversed by the addition of mevalonate. Addition of LDL did not change the response to pravastatin. We propose that the availability of cholesterol plays an important role in cellular chemotaxis. Furthermore, it can be suggested that other products of the mevalonate pathway apart from cholesterol may contribute to the regulation of chemotaxis.

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