Decomposition of lipid hydroperoxides enhances the uptake of low density lipoprotein by macrophages

Alexander V. Babiy, Janusz M. Gebicki*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    This study examined the roles of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) lipid oxidation and peroxide breakdown in its conversion to a form rapidly taken up by mouse peritoneal macrophages. Oxidation of the LDL without decomposition of the hydroperoxide groups was performed by exposure to gamma radiation in air-saturated solutions. Virtually complete decomposition of the hydroperoxides was achieved by treatment of the irradiated LDL with Cu2+ under strictly anaerobic conditions. No uncontrolled LDL uptake by macrophages occurred when the lipoprotein contained less than 150 hydroperoxide groups per particle. More extensively oxidized LDL was taken up and degraded by mouse macrophages significantly faster than the native lipoprotein. The uptake was greatly enhanced by treatment of the oxidized LDL with Cu2+. A significant proportion of the LDL containing intact or copper-decomposed LDL hydroperoxide groups accumulated within the macrophages without further degradation. Treatment of the radiation-oxidized LDL with Cu2+ was accompanied by aggregation of the particles. Competition studies showed that the oxidized LDL was taken up by macrophages via both the LDL and the scavenger receptors, whereas the copper-treated lipoprotein entered the cells only by the scavenger pathway. Phagocytosis also played an important role in the metabolism of all forms of the extensively modified LDL. Our results suggest that minimally-oxidized LDL is not recognized by the macrophage scavenger receptors unless the lipid hydroperoxide groups are decomposed to products able to derivatize the apo B protein.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)31-42
    Number of pages12
    JournalActa Biochimica Polonica
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1999


    • Aggregated LDL
    • Free radicals
    • Hydroperoxide
    • Lipid
    • Low density lipoprotein
    • Macrophage
    • Oxidized LDL


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