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Clin Immunol. 1999 Feb;90(2):165-72.

Antibodies to oxidized LDL and LDL-containing immune complexes as risk factors for coronary artery disease in diabetes mellitus.

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Division of Endocrinology-Metabolism-Nutrition, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina 29425-2230, USA.


Several groups have published results from clinical studies supporting the involvement of anti-modified LDL antibodies as risk factors for the initiation or progression of cardiovascular disease. However, the data published so far are judged inconclusive because of several contradictory observations concerning the correlation between clinical evidence of arteriosclerosis and the levels of antibodies to oxidized LDL (oxLDL Ab). We have previously reported that oxLDL Ab exist both in free form and as antigen-antibody complexes (LDL-IC) in patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). The presence of LDL-IC in IDDM patients has important implications: it may interfere with the assay of oxLDL antibodies and the levels of LDL-IC may correlate better with the development of arteriosclerosis than the levels of free oxLDL antibodies. To clarify these questions baseline samples collected from 49 IDDM patients, who subsequently developed coronary artery disease (CAD) during an 8-year follow-up period, were compared to baseline samples from 49 age-, sex-, and duration-matched control IDDM subjects who remained free of clinical CAD during an identical follow-up period. The levels of free oxLDL antibody were significantly lower in the patients who developed CAD. The same patients had significantly higher concentrations of total cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, and IgA in immune complex-enriched polyethylene glycol (PEG) precipitates. The concentration of IgG was also higher in PEG precipitates from patients who developed CAD, but did not reach statistical significance. This indicates that patients who develop CAD had higher levels of circulating LDL-IC, a fact that could not be deduced from the measurement of free oxLDL antibody concentrations. A linear regression analysis of the correlation between the concentrations of total cholesterol in PEG precipitates, taken as a surrogate measurement of PEG-precipitated oxLDL-IC, and the concentration of free oxLDL antibody in serum showed a statistically significant negative correlation (r = -0.229, P = 0. 024). Our results support the conclusion that oxLDL-IC may be a risk factor for the development of macrovascular disease in IDDM patients. We also have demonstrated that circulating oxLDL-IC interfere with the assay of free oxLDL antibodies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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