Author(s): Kataoka H, Kume N, Miyamoto S, Minami M, Morimoto M,
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Abstract Oxidized low density lipoprotein (Ox-LDL) induces apoptosis in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), which may increase atherosclerotic plaque instability. In this study, we examined the molecular mechanisms causing the Ox-LDL-induced apoptosis in VSMCs, especially focusing on the involvement of Bax/Bcl-2 and the lectinlike Ox-LDL receptor-1 (LOX-1). In cultured bovine aortic smooth muscle cells (BASMCs), Ox-LDL at high concentrations (>60 microg/mL) induced cell death as demonstrated by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. DNA fragmentation was increased in BASMCs treated with high concentrations of Ox-LDL, indicating that the Ox-LDL-induced cell death in VSMCs was apoptosis. Ox-LDL upregulated LOX-1 expression through phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase in BASMCs, and a neutralizing anti-LOX-1 monoclonal antibody, which can block LOX-1-mediated cellular uptake of Ox-LDL, prevented the Ox-LDL-induced apoptosis in BASMCs. This antibody also suppressed the increase in the Bax to Bcl-2 ratio induced by Ox-LDL in BASMCs. Furthermore, LOX-1 expression was well colocalized with Bax expression in the rupture-prone shoulder areas of human atherosclerotic plaques in vivo. LOX-1 may play an important role in Ox-LDL-induced apoptosis in VSMCs by modulating the Bax to Bcl-2 ratio. These molecular mechanisms may be involved in destabilization and rupture of atherosclerotic plaques.
This article was published in Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology