Statins Inhibit Synthesis of an Oxysterol Ligand for the Liver X Receptor in Human Macrophages With Consequences for Cholesterol Flux

Jenny Wong, Carmel M. Quinn, Andrew J. Brown
2004 Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology  
Objective-Cholesterol efflux from macrophages in the artery wall, a key cardioprotective mechanism, is largely coordinated by the nuclear oxysterol-activated liver X receptor, LXR␣. We investigated the effect of statins on LXR target gene expression and cholesterol efflux from human macrophages. Methods and Results-In human macrophages (THP-1 cell line and primary cells), the archetypal statin, compactin, greatly reduced mRNA levels of 2 LXR target genes, ABCA1 and ABCG1 mRNA, as well as
more » ... , as well as decreased cholesterol efflux. Commonly prescribed statins also downregulated LXR target gene expression in THP-1 cells. We provide several lines of evidence indicating that statins decrease expression of LXR target genes by inhibiting the synthesis of an oxysterol ligand for LXR, 24(S),25-epoxycholesterol. When THP-1 cells were cholesterol-loaded via incubation with acetylated low-density lipoprotein, synthesis of 24(S),25-epoxycholesterol was greatly reduced and the downregulatory effect of compactin on ABCA1 mRNA levels and cholesterol efflux was lost. Conclusions-Our results suggest that statins may downregulate cholesterol efflux from nonloaded human macrophages by inhibiting synthesis of an oxysterol ligand for LXR. Further work is needed to determine how relevant our observations are to arterial foam cells in vivo. (Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2004;24:1-7.) Key Words: statins Ⅲ human macrophage Ⅲ liver X receptor Ⅲ 24(S),25-epoxycholesterol Ⅲ THP-1 cells Ⅲ human monocyte-derived macrophages Ⅲ pleiotropic Original
doi:10.1161/01.atv.0000148707.93054.7d pmid:15514210 fatcat:vf3rgn5d7jfbhjvgwh4z5rvvtm