Triggerlike stimulation of cholesterol accumulation and DNA and extracellular matrix synthesis induced by atherogenic serum or low density lipoprotein in cultured cells.
A 72-hour incubation of cultured cells with blood sera or plasma of patients suffering from coronary heart disease (CHD) with angiographically assessed coronary atherosclerosis caused a threefold to fourfold elevation of intracellular cholesterol. An elevated cholesterol level in the cells precultured with patients' sera was retained several days after the removal of the examined serum from culture. The accumulation of intracellular cholesterol was accompanied by enhanced synthesis of DNA, total protein, collagen, sulfated glycosaminoglycans, and hyaluronic acid. Enhanced DNA and total protein synthesis was retained for at least 9 days after the serum had been removed from culture. The obtained results suggest that the sera of CHD patients possess an atherogenic potential that manifests itself at the arterial cell level in the stable stimulation of atherosclerotic cellular processes: proliferation, lipidosis, and fibrosis. The examined sera of healthy donors were devoid of such an atherogenic potential. The low density lipoprotein (LDL) fraction (density, 1.030-1.050 g/cm3) obtained from an atherogenic serum had the same atherogenic potential as a whole serum. Atherosclerotic alterations in cultured intimal cells caused by atherogenic LDL were retained for at least 3 days after the removal of the lipoprotein from culture. Preincubation of intimal cells with LDL obtained from healthy donors had no effect on the intracellular cholesterol level or the synthesis of DNA and extracellular matrix. One may assume that the atherogenic potential of CHD patients' sera is related to the presence of LDLs that are qualitatively different from the LDL of healthy subjects.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association