Send to

Choose Destination
Biochimie. 2013 Mar;95(3):518-30. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2012.11.013. Epub 2012 Dec 7.

Biological activities of the LXRα and β agonist, 4β-hydroxycholesterol, and of its isomer, 4α-hydroxycholesterol, on oligodendrocytes: effects on cell growth and viability, oxidative and inflammatory status.

Author information

Université de Bourgogne, Equipe Biochimie du peroxysome, inflammation et métabolisme lipidique EA 7270/INSERM, Faculté des Sciences Gabriel, 6 Boulevard Gabriel, Dijon, France.


The biochemical and biological properties of 4β-hydroxycholesterol and of its isomer, 4α-hydroxycholesterol, are not well known. So, we determined the ability of 4α- and 4β-hydroxycholesterol to react with LXRα and LXRβ, and we characterized the activities of these oxysterols on oligodendrocytes which are myelin synthesizing cells. The effects of 4α- and 4β-hydroxycholesterol were studied on 158N murine oligodendrocytes to assess their activities on cell growth and viability, oxidative and inflammatory status. To this end different parameters were used: cell counting with trypan blue; identification of dead cells and cell cycle analysis with propidium iodide; evaluation of mitochondrial depolarization, lysosomal membrane integrity, actin depolimerization, nuclear morphology, and superoxide anion production after staining with JC-1, acridine orange, rhodamine-phalloidin, Hoechst 33342, and dihydroethidium, respectively; evaluation of ultrastructural changes by transmission electron microscopy, and cytokine quantification with a cytometric bead array. Only 4β-hydroxycholesterol is a LXRα and β agonist. No cytotoxic effects were found with 4α-hydroxycholesterol except a slight inhibition of cell growth at elevated concentrations. At high concentrations, 4β-hydroxycholesterol was not only able to inhibit cell growth, but also to induce cell death associated with a loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential, dysfunctions of lysosomal membrane integrity, and superoxide anion overproduction. These side effects were lower than those observed with 7-ketocholesterol and 25-hydroxycholesterol used as positive controls. On oligodendrocyte murine primary cultures, only lysosomal membrane integrity was slightly affected under treatment with 4α- and 4β-hydroxycholesterol. So, 4α- and 4β-hydroxycholesterol have different biological activities. Their ability to induce cytotoxic effects on oligodendrocytes can be considered as weak comparatively to 7-ketocholesterol and 25-hydroxycholesterol.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center