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Circ Res. 2012 Aug 31;111(6):778-99. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.111.256859.

Role of phospholipid oxidation products in atherosclerosis.

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Department of Pathology, University of California-Los Angeles, MRL 4760, 675 Charles E. Young Dr. S., Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


There is increasing clinical evidence that phospholipid oxidation products (Ox-PL) play a role in atherosclerosis. This review focuses on the mechanisms by which Ox-PL interact with endothelial cells, monocyte/macrophages, platelets, smooth muscle cells, and HDL to promote atherogenesis. In the past few years major progress has been made in identifying these mechanisms. It has been recognized that Ox-PL promote phenotypic changes in these cell types that have long-term consequences for the vessel wall. Individual Ox-PL responsible for specific cellular effects have been identified. A model of the configuration of bioactive truncated Ox-PL within membranes has been developed that demonstrates that the oxidized fatty acid moiety protrudes into the aqueous phase, rendering it accessible for receptor recognition. Receptors and signaling pathways for individual Ox-PL species are now determined and receptor independent signaling pathways identified. The effects of Ox-PL are mediated both by gene regulation and transcription independent processes. It has now become apparent that Ox-PL affects multiple genes and pathways, some of which are proatherogenic and some are protective. However, at concentrations that are likely present in the vessel wall in atherosclerotic lesions, the effects promote atherogenesis. There have also been new insights on enzymes that metabolize Ox-PL and the significance of these enzymes for atherosclerosis. With the knowledge we now have of the regulation and effects of Ox-PL in different vascular cell types, it should be possible to design experiments to test the role of specific Ox-PL on the development of atherosclerosis.

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