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J Lipid Res. 2001 Oct;42(10):1678-86.

Arachidonate metabolism and the signaling pathway of induction of apoptosis by oxidized LDL/oxysterol.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, James H. Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, Ross Drive, Building 11, Johnson City, TN 37614, USA.


Owing at least in part to oxysterol components that can induce apoptosis, oxidized LDL (oxLDL) is cytotoxic to mammalian cells with receptors that can internalize it. Vascular cells possess such receptors, and it appears that the apoptotic response of vascular cells to the oxysterols borne by oxLDL is an important part of the atherogenic effects of oxLDL. Thus, an analysis of the signaling pathway of apoptotic induction by oxysterols is of value in understanding the development of atherosclerotic plaque. In a prior study, we demonstrated an induction of calcium ion flux into cells treated with 25-hydroxycholesterol (25-OHC) and showed that this response is essential for 25-OHC-induced apoptosis. One possible signal transduction pathway initiated by calcium ion fluxes is the activation of cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2). In the current study, we demonstrate that activation of cPLA2 does occur in both macrophages and fibroblasts treated with 25-OHC or oxLDL. Activation is evidenced by 25-OHC-induced relocalization of cPLA2 to the nuclear envelope and arachidonic acid release. Loss of cPLA2 activity, either through genetic knockout in mice, or by treatment with a cPLA2 inhibitor, results in an attenuation of arachidonic acid release as well as of the apoptotic response to oxLDL in peritoneal macrophages or to 25-OHC in cultured fibroblast and macrophage cell lines.

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