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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Aug 3;359(3):723-8. Epub 2007 Jun 5.

E-LDL upregulates TOSO expression and enhances the survival of human macrophages.

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Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Regensburg University Medical Center, Franz-Josef-Strauss Allee 11, D-93042 Regensburg, Germany.


Uptake of modified lipoproteins by macrophages causes foam cell formation and promotes atherosclerosis. Atherogenic lipoproteins are cytotoxic and induce cell death under certain conditions but may also enhance macrophage survival. Macrophages treated with enzymatically modified LDL (E-LDL) were subjected to GeneChip analysis and the antiapoptotic gene TOSO was found induced. TOSO mRNA is upregulated and apoptosis is reduced in E-LDL but not in oxidized LDL (Ox-LDL) loaded macrophages. FLIP(L) abundance was suggested to mediate the antiapoptotic properties of TOSO; however, FLIP(L) was not changed. Ox-LDL is internalized predominantly by scavenger receptors such as CD36 while E-LDL particles are preferentially internalized by Fc- and complement-receptor dependent phagocytosis and internalization of phagobeads by macrophages upregulates TOSO. In COS-7 cells however, phagocytotic activity was not affected by TOSO. These data indicate that E-LDL-generated foam cells are protected from cell death most likely through the expression of TOSO by a FLIP(L) independent mechanism.

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