Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Exp Mol Pathol. 2012 Oct;93(2):220-6. doi: 10.1016/j.yexmp.2012.03.014. Epub 2012 May 15.

Endothelial cell activation promotes foam cell formation by monocytes following transendothelial migration in an in vitro model.

Author information

Centre for Virology, Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health, Melbourne, VIC 3001, Australia.


Foam cells are a pathological feature present at all stages of atherosclerosis. Foam cells develop from monocytes that enter the nascent atheroma and subsequently ingest modified low density lipoproteins (LDL). The regulation of this process has previously been studied in vitro using cultured macrophage fed modified LDL. We used our existing in vitro model of transendothelial migration (TEM) to study this process in a more physiologically relevant setting. In our model, monocytes undergo TEM across a primary endothelial monolayer into an underlying three-dimensional collagen matrix in the presence of 20% human serum. Foam cells were detected by Oil Red O staining for intracellular lipid droplets. We demonstrate that sub-endothelial monocytes can develop into foam cells within 48 h of TEM across TNF-α activated endothelium, in the absence of additional lipids. Our data indicate a role for both monocyte-endothelial interactions and soluble factors in the regulation of foam cell development, including oxidation of LDL in situ from lipid present in culture medium following TNF-α stimulation of the endothelial cells. Our study provides a simple model for investigating foam cell development in vitro that mimics cell migration in vivo, and demonstrates the critical role of inflammation in regulating early atherogenic events.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center