Fibroblasts that overexpress 15-lipoxygenase generate bioactive and minimally modified LDL

Farhad Sigari, Chris Lee, Joseph L. Witztum, Peter D. Reaven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Several lines of evidence suggest that the cellular enzyme 15 lipoxygenase (15-LO) may be important in promoting the oxidation of lipoproteins in vivo. In previous studies we have shown that fibroblasts transfected with 15-LO 'seed' LDL with lipoperoxides such that subsequent oxidation readily generates an LDL that is taken up by macrophages through scavenger receptors. We now demonstrate that LDL incubated with 15-LO cells is 'minimally modified' and has bioactive properties. Characterization of LDL incubated with 15-LO cells reveals that lipid peroxidation is modest, with low levels of TBARS generated (12.6±4.7 nmole MDA per mg protein) and small amounts of 18:2 lost as a result of oxidation (7%, compared with extensive loss [82%] with copper oxidation). The 15-LO-conditioned LDL showed mildly increased electrophoretic mobility on agarose gels, and on polyacrylamide gels it showed only mild protein degradation compared with copper-oxidized LDL. Additionally 15-LO-conditioned LDL competed very well for the LDL receptor of fibroblasts but did not compete for macrophage uptake of 125I- acetylated LDL. Importantly compared with LDL incubated on β-galactosidase (lac Z)-transfected control cells, LDL incubated on 15-LO cells stimulated monocyte chemotaxis (15-LO-LDL, 6.9±1.2 monocytes per field versus lac Z- LDL, 0±0.9 monocytes per field) and when added to endothelial cells enhanced adhesion (15-LO-LDL, 31.1±5.0 monocytes per field versus lac Z-LDL, 0±2.0 monocytes per field). Preincubation of 15-LO cells with 15-LO inhibitors significantly inhibited the generation of bioactive LDL. Lipid extracts of LDL conditioned on 15-LO cells showed chemotactic activity not related to lysophosphatidylcholine levels. Preincubation of target endothelial cells with several different platelet-activating factor receptor antagonists prevented stimulation of monocyte adhesion by 15-LO-conditioned LDL. When probucol- or vitamin E-enriched LDL was incubated with 15-LO cells it was less oxidized and less bioactive, which suggests that these cells seed LDL with LOOH, which then requires further propagation of lipid peroxidation tO yield bioactivity. These studies demonstrate that fibroblasts expressing 15- LO reliably produce a bioactive 'minimally modified' LDL, which may explain in part how cellular 15-LO activity may generate atherogenic LDL in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3639-3645
Number of pages7
JournalArteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoantibodies
  • Chemotaxis
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Modified LDL
  • Monocyte adhesion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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