Original Article

Oxidized LDL upregulated ATP binding cassette transporter-1 in THP-1 macrophages

Authors: Chao-ke TANG, Guang-hui YI, Jun-hao YANG, Lu-shan LIU, Zuo WANG, Chang-geng RUAN, Yong-zong YANG


To study the effect of oxidized low density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) on ATP binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) in THP-1 macrophages.
After exposing the cultured THP-1 macrophages to ox-LDL for different periods, cholesterol efflux was determined by FJ-2107P type liquid scintillator. ABCA1 mRNA and protein level were determined by reverse trancriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blot, respectively. The cholesterol level in THP-1 macrophage foam cells was detected by high performance liquid chromatography.
ox-LDL elevated ABCA1 in both protein and mRNA levels and increased apolipoprotein (apo) A-I-mediated cholesterol efflux in a time- and dose-dependent manner. 22(R)-hydroxycholesterol and 9-cis-retinoic acid did significantly increase cholesterol efflux in THP-1 macrophage foam cells (P<0.05), respectively. Both of them further promoted cholesterol efflux (P<0.01). As expected, liver X receptor (LXR) agonist decreased content of esterified cholesterol in the macrophage foam cells compared with control, whereas only a slight decrease of free cholesterol was observed. LXR activity was slightly increased by oxidized LDL by 12 % at 12 h compared with 6 h. However, LXR activity was increased about 1.8 times at 24 h, and oxidized LDL further increased LXR activity by about 2.6 times at 48 h.
ABCA1 gene expression was markedly increased in cholesterol-loaded cells as a result of activation of LXR/RXR. ABCA1 plays an important role in the homeostasis of cholesterol in the macrophages.

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