Tertov VV, Orekhov AN, Martsenyuk ON, Perova NV, Smirnov VN
Exp Mol Pathol 1989 Jun 50:3 337-47
Smooth muscle cells cultured from the intima of unaffected human aorta accumulate lipids during incubation with the blood serum of patients with coronary heart disease (CHD). Blood sera of most healthy subjects fail to induce the deposition of lipids in cultured cells. Very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and high-density lipoproteins of two subclasses (HDL2 and HDL3) were isolated from the blood of healthy subjects and CHD patients. LDL from the blood of healthy individuals did not raise intracellular lipid levels within 24 hr of cultivation (the maximal concentration used, 1000 micrograms/ml). During the same incubation period, LDL obtained from the blood of CHD patients (200 to 1000 micrograms/ml) caused a 2- to 5-fold rise in cholesteryl esters as well as a 1.5- to 3-fold rise in free cholesterol and triglycerides, whereas intracellular phospholipid levels remained unchanged. There was a direct correlation (r = 0.95) between cholesterol accumulation in the cells incubated with whole sera of CHD patients and cholesterol level in the cells incubated with LDL isolated from these sera. In one of the three cases, the ability to raise the intracellular level of cholesteryl esters was demonstrated by VLDL (500 micrograms/ml) derived from CHD patients' blood. HDL2 and HDL3 did not affect lipid levels in smooth muscle cells cultured from unaffected intima. HDL3 from the blood of CHD patients and healthy subjects (50 to 250 micrograms/ml) reduced cholesteryl ester levels in cells cultured from atherosclerotic plaques 1.5- to 2-fold. HDL2 also decreased the content of cholesteryl esters in plaque cells, though less effectively than HDL3. The data obtained suggest that circulating LDL and, possibly, VLDL in the blood of CHD patients are capable of inducing the accumulation of fat in vascular wall cells.