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Cellular Physiology And Biochemistry
DOI of Original Publication
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Background/Aims: The accumulation of free cholesterol in atherosclerotic lesions has been well documented in both animals and humans. In studying the relevance of free cholesterol buildup in atherosclerosis, contradictory results have been generated, indicating that free cholesterol produces both pro- and anti-atherosclerosis effects in macrophages. This inconsistency might stem from the examination of only select concentrations of free cholesterol. In the present study, we sought to investigate the implication of excess free cholesterol loading in the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis across a broad concentration range from (in µg/ml) 0 to 60. Methods:Macrophage viability was determined by measuring formazan formation and flow cytometry viable cell counting. The polarization of M1 and M2 macrophages was differentiated by FACS (Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting) assay. The secretion of IL-1β in macrophage culture medium was measured by ELISA kit. Macrophage apoptosis was detected by flow cytometry using a TUNEL kit. Results: Macrophage viability was increased at the treatment of lower concentrations of free cholesterol from (in µg/ml) 0 to 20, but gradually decreased at higher concentrations from 20 to 60. Lower free cholesterol loading induced anti-inflammatory M2 macrophage polarization. The activation of the PPARγ (Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor gamma) nuclear factor underscored the stimulation of this M2 phenotype. Nevertheless, higher levels of free cholesterol resulted in pro-inflammatory M1 activation. Moreover, with the application of higher free cholesterol concentrations, macrophage apoptosis and secretion of the inflammatory cytokine IL-1β increased significantly. Conclusion: These results for the first time demonstrate that free cholesterol could render concentration-dependent diversification effects on macrophage viability, polarization, apoptosis and inflammatory cytokine secretions, thereby reconciling the pros and cons of free cholesterol buildup in macrophages to the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis.
Copyright © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel. Open Access License: This is an Open Access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC) (www.karger.com/OA-license), applicable to the online version of the article only. Distribution permitted for non-commercial purposes only. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
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VCU Pharmacology and Toxicology Publications