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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2003 Feb 20;1631(1):51-60.

VLDL-induced triglyceride accumulation in human macrophages is mediated by modulation of LPL lipolytic activity in the absence of change in LPL mass.

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National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) Unite 551, Hôpital de la Pitié, 83, Boulevard de l'Hôpital, F-75651 Paris Cedex 13, France.


Mixed dyslipidemia of phenotype IIB is characterized by elevated levels of very low density lipoprotein (VLDL)-1 and VLDL-2 subfractions and of low density lipoprotein (LDL), which are associated with premature formation of atherosclerotic plaques, characterized by the presence of lipid-rich macrophage foam cells. Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) is a key factor in mediating macrophage lipid accumulation and foam-cell formation from native VLDL particles. The action of macrophage-derived LPL in the induction of intracellular lipid accumulation from triglyceride-rich lipoprotein (TRL) subfractions (VLDL-1, VLDL-2) is, however, indeterminate, as is the potential role of VLDL-1 and VLDL-2 in modulating macrophage LPL expression. We evaluated the role of LPL in the interaction of type IIB VLDL-1 and VLDL-2 with human macrophages. Both VLDL-1 and VLDL-2 subfractions induced significant accumulation of triglyceride (9.8-fold, P<0.0001, and 4.8-fold, P<0.0001, respectively) and of free cholesterol content (1.4-fold, P<0.001, and 1.2-fold, P=0.02, respectively). Specific inhibition (90%) of the lipolytic activity of endogenous LPL by tetrahydrolipstatin (THL) in the presence of VLDL-1 or VLDL-2 resulted in marked reduction in cellular loading of both triglycerides (-89%, P=0.008, and -89%, P=0.015, respectively) and free cholesterol (-76%, P=0.02, and -55%, P=0.06 respectively). Furthermore, VLDL-1 and VLDL-2 induced marked increase in macrophage-derived LPL enzyme activity (+81%, P=0.002, and +45%, P=0.02), but did not modulate macrophage-derived LPL mRNA and protein expression; consequently, LPL specific activity was significantly increased from 1.6 mU/microg at baseline to 4.1 mU/microg (P=0.01) and 3.1 mU/microg (P=0.05), in the presence of VLDL-1 and VLDL-2, respectively. We conclude that type IIB VLDL-1 and VLDL-2 induce triglyceride accumulation in human monocyte-macrophages primarily via the lipolytic action of LPL, which may involve stabilization and activation of the macrophage-secreted enzyme, rather than via modulation of enzyme production.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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