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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 May 30;305(2):380-5.

Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 induces scavenger receptor expression and monocyte differentiation into foam cells.

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First Department of Internal Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Medicine, 1-1 Iseigaoka, Yahatanishi, Kitakyushu, 807-8555, Japan.


Accumulation of monocytes and the entrapment of oxidized-low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) in monocytes are important in the differentiation into "foam" macrophages and the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. We investigated the role of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) in the expression of scavenger receptor (SCR) by using resting monocytes prepared by counterflow centrifugal elutriation. Our results showed that: (1) MCP-1 increased the expression of CD36 SCR by flow cytometric analysis. (2) MCP-1 increased incorporation of 125I-labeled ox-LDL and oil red O staining. (3) MCP-1 and ox-LDL enhanced in vitro transendothelial monocyte migration. (4) These functions were mediated at least in part via extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway. (5) MCP-1 and ox-LDL did not induce monocyte proliferation. Our results imply that MCP-1 is involved in the inflammatory process of atherosclerosis through the induction of SCR expression via the ERK pathway and differentiation of monocytes into foam macrophages, as well as induction of monocyte migration.

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