Glycosylation of low-density lipoprotein enhances cholesteryl ester synthesis in human monocyte-derived macrophages

M F Lopes-Virella, R L Klein, T J Lyons, H C Stevenson, J L Witztum

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167 Citations (Scopus)


Glucose can react with the lysine residues of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) and convert the lipoprotein to a form with a receptor-mediated uptake by cultured cells that is impaired. However, in contrast to other modified lipoproteins taken up by both murine and human macrophages via the scavenger-receptor pathway that may induce the formation of foam cells, glycosylated LDL is not recognized by murine macrophages, and thus far, it has not been shown to lead to marked intracellular accumulation of cholesterol in human macrophages. This study illustrates that glycosylated LDL incubated with human monocyte-derived macrophages, at a concentration of 100 micrograms LDL/ml medium, stimulates significantly more cholesteryl ester (CE) synthesis than does control LDL (10.65 +/- 1.5 vs. 4.8 +/- 0.13 cell protein.20 h-1; P less than .05). At LDL concentrations similar to those of plasma, the rate of CE synthesis in macrophages incubated with glycosylated LDL is more markedly enhanced than that observed in cells incubated with control LDL (3-fold increase). The marked stimulation of CE synthesis in human macrophages exposed to glycosylated LDL is paralleled by a significant increase in CE accumulation in these cells (P less than .001). The increase in CE synthesis and accumulation seem to be mediated by an increase in the degradation of glycosylated LDL by human macrophages. Glycosylated LDL enters the macrophages and is degraded by the classic LDL-receptor pathway in slightly smaller amounts than control LDL, but its degradation by pathways other than the classic LDL receptor or scavenger receptor is markedly enhanced.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-7
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1988


  • Cholesterol Esters
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Lysine
  • Macrophages
  • Monocytes


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