TitleHuman neutrophils oxidize low-density lipoprotein by a hypochlorous acid-dependent mechanism: the role of vitamin C.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsCarr AC, Frei B
JournalBiol Chem
Date Published2002 Mar-Apr
KeywordsAntioxidants, Ascorbic Acid, Humans, Hypochlorous Acid, Kinetics, Lipoproteins, LDL, Neutrophils

Oxidatively modified low-density lipoprotein (LDL) has been strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Peripheral blood leukocytes, such as neutrophils, can oxidize LDL by processes requiring superoxide and redox-active transition metal ions; however, it is uncertain whether such catalytic metal ions are available in the artery wall. Stimulated leukocytes also produce the reactive oxidant hypochlorous acid (HOCl) via the heme enzyme myeloperoxidase. Since myeloperoxidase-derived HOCl may be a physiologically relevant oxidant in atherogenesis, we investigated the mechanisms of neutrophil-mediated LDL modification and its possible prevention by the antioxidant ascorbate (vitamin C). As a sensitive marker of LDL oxidation, we measured LDL thiol groups. Stimulated human neutrophils (5x10(6) cells/ml) incubated with human LDL (0.25 mg protein/ml) time-dependently oxidized LDL thiols (33% and 79% oxidized after 10 and 30 min, respectively). Supernatants from stimulated neutrophils also oxidized LDL thiols (33% oxidized after 30 min), implicating long-lived oxidants such as N-chloramines. Experiments using specific enzyme inhibitors and oxidant scavengers showed that HOCl, but not hydrogen peroxide nor superoxide, plays a critical role in LDL thiol oxidation by neutrophils. Ascorbate (200 microM) protected against neutrophil-mediated LDL thiol oxidation for up to 15 min of incubation, after which LDL thiols became rapidly oxidized. Although stimulated neutrophils accumulated ascorbate during oxidation of LDL, pre-loading of neutrophils with ascorbate did not attenuate oxidant production by the cells. Thus, activated neutrophils oxidize LDL thiols by HOCl- and N-chloramine-dependent mechanisms and physiological concentrations of vitamin C delay this process, most likely due to scavenging of extracellular oxidants, rather than by attenuating neutrophil oxidant production.

Alternate JournalBiol. Chem.
PubMed ID12033452
Grant ListHL-60886 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States