Apoptotic Death of Inflammatory Cells in Human Atheroma
2001 (English)In: Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, ISSN 1079-5642, E-ISSN 1524-4636, Vol. 21, no 7, 1124-1130 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Although the accumulation of cholesterol and other lipidic material is unquestionably important in atherogenesis, the reasons why this material progressively accumulates, rather than being effectively cleared by phagocytic cells such as macrophages, are not completely understood. We hypothesize that atheromatous lesions may represent "death zones" that contain toxic materials such as oxysterols and in which monocytes/macrophages become dysfunctional and apoptotic. Indeed, cathepsins B and L, normally confined to the lysosomal compartment, are present in the cytoplasm and nuclei of apoptotic (caspase-3-positive) macrophages within human atheroma. The possible involvement of oxysterols is suggested by experiments in which cultured U937 and THP-1 cells exposed to 7-oxysterols similarly undergo marked lysosomal destabilization, caspase-3 activation, and apoptosis. Like macrophages within atheroma, intralysosomal cathepsins B and L are normally present in the cytoplasm and nuclei of these oxysterol-exposed cells. Lysosomal destabilization, cathepsin release, and apoptosis may be causally related, because inhibitors of cathepsins B and L suppress oxysterol-induced apoptosis. Thus, toxic materials such as 7-oxysterols in atheroma may impair the clearance of cholesterol and other lipidic material by fostering the apoptotic death of phagocytic cells, thereby contributing to further development of atherosclerotic lesions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 21, no 7, 1124-1130 p.
National CategoryMedical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-27724DOI: 10.1161/hq0701.092145Local ID: 12463OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-27724DiVA: diva2:248276