Mediators of inflammation

Macrophage Differentiation from Monocytes Is Influenced by the Lipid Oxidation Degree of Low Density Lipoprotein.

PMID 26294848


LDL plays an important role in atherosclerotic plaque formation and macrophage differentiation. However, there is no report regarding the oxidation degree of LDL and macrophage differentiation. Our study has shown that the differentiation into M1 or M2 macrophages is related to the lipid oxidation level of LDL. Based on the level of lipid peroxidation, LDL is classified into high-oxidized LDL (hi-oxLDL) and low-oxidized LDL (low-oxLDL). The differentiation profiles of macrophages were determined by surface receptor expression and cytokine secretion profiles. Low-oxLDL induced CD86 expression and production of TNF-α and IL-12p40 in THP-1 cells, indicating an M1 macrophage phenotype. Hi-oxLDL induced mannose receptor expression and production of IL-6 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, which mostly match the phenotype of M2 macrophages. Further supporting evidence for an M2 polarization by hi-oxLDL was the induction of LOX-1 in THP-1 cells treated with hi-oxLDL but not with low-oxLDL. Similar results were obtained in primary human monocytes. Therefore, our results strongly suggest that the oxidation degree of LDL influences the differentiation of monocytes into M1 or M2 macrophages and determines the inflammatory fate in early stages of atherosclerosis.