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FEBS Lett. 1994 Mar 21;341(2-3):259-62.

The oxidation of low density lipoprotein by cells or iron is inhibited by zinc.

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Department of Biochemistry and Physiology, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Berkshire, UK.


We have examined the effect of zinc ions on low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation by macrophages, endothelial cells and iron ions in terms of the increased uptake of the LDL by macrophages. Zinc ions inhibited LDL modification by both cell types (which is dependent on the presence of iron ions in the culture medium) and by iron ions alone. As oxidised LDL is believed to be involved in atherogenesis, this raises the possibility that zinc may be an endogenous protective factor against atherosclerosis.

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