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Mildly Oxidized LDL Particle Subspecies Are Distinct In Their Capacity To Induce Apoptosis In Endothelial Cells: Role Of Lipid Hydroperoxides

A. Kontush, L. Chancharme, I. Escargueil-Blanc, P. Thérond, R. Salvayre, A. Négre-Salvayre, M. Chapman
Published 2003 · Biology, Medicine

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The risk of atherosclerosis is intimately related to the heterogeneity of low‐density lipoprotein (LDL) particles. The potential relationship between oxidative modification of distinct LDL subspecies and induction of apoptosis in arterial wall cells is indeterminate. The capacity of light LDL3 versus dense LDL5 to induce cytotoxicity in endothelial cells as a function of the degree of copper‐mediated oxidation was compared. Mildly oxidized LDL3 (oxLDL3) exerted potent cytotoxicity, which was intimately related to both the degree of oxidation and the oxLDL3 concentration based on either cholesterol content or particle number. In contrast, dense LDL5 particles exerted a minor effect on cell viability. Cells incubated with oxLDL3 exhibited apoptotic features, with cytoplasmic condensation, cell or nuclear fragmentation, and accumulation of DNA fragments. OxLDL3‐induced apoptosis involved cytoplasmic release of cytochrome c, with a concomitant increase in caspase‐3‐like protease activity. OxLDL3 particles were uniquely distinct from oxLDL5 particles in their elevated content of lipid hydroperoxides. Hydroperoxide removal by NaBH4 markedly reduced oxLDL3‐induced cytotoxicity, leading to an increase in cell viability. Lipid hydroperoxide content of oxidatively modified LDL subclasses is therefore a major determinant of the induction of apoptosis in endothelial cells. These data are highly relevant to atherogenic hypercholesterolemia, in which the LDL phenotype is dominated by elevated concentrations of light LDL3.
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