Mukhin DN, Orekhov AN, Andreeva ER, Schindeler EM, Smirnov VN
Exp Mol Pathol 1991 Feb 54:1 22-30
The distribution, content, and composition of tissue and cellular lipids in intimal layers of unaffected and atherosclerotic human aorta were studied. Aortic tissue was divided into medial and intimal layers; the intimal layer was further separated into elastic-hyperplastic and musculo-elastic sublayers. Cells were isolated from both intimal layers by enzyme digestion. The lipids extracted from whole tissue and cells were separated by TLC and analyzed by scanning densitometry. The highest content of phospholipids (PhL), triglycerides (TG), cholesterol (C), and cholesteryl esters (CE) was detected in the elastic-hyperplastic layer of atherosclerotic plaque. However, taking into account that the elastic-hyperplastic layer of intima in lesioned areas was thickened, the lipid content per volume unit of both sublayers in fatty streaks and in plaques was equal. In the media underlying an atherosclerotic plaque, an increase in CE rather than in other lipid classes occurred. In the intima, an overall increase in PhL, TG, C, and CE content was found to display a constant ratio between these lipid classes, similar to that of low density lipoproteins (LDL). Cells isolated from atherosclerotic lesions had a higher lipid content than cells from areas of unaffected intima. However, the increase in the content of different lipid classes was not proportional, compared with tissue lipids. The content of PhL was the same, while an increase in TG, C, and CE was observed. The major contribution to excess cellular lipid accumulation in cells from atherosclerotic lesions was made by CE.