Functionally abnormal monocytes in hypercholesterolemia.
We investigated some functions of monocytes from 20 type IIa hypercholesterolemic (HC) and five homozygous familial hypercholesterolemic (FH) patients. Monocytes from the HC patients contained as much cholesterol and formed as much thromboxane B2 in response to N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP) or calcium ionophore A23187 as those from normal individuals. In contrast, the generation of prostaglandin E2 and 6-ketoprostaglandin F1 alpha in response to these agonists was 1.5-3 times normal, and that of leukotriene B4 was 40-60% of the normal value (p < 0.05 for all). Studies in which the combination of fMLP or A23187 with sodium arachidonate were employed suggested that these abnormalities were independent of the availability of the endogenous substrate for the lipoxygenase or cyclooxygenase enzymes. Quantitatively and qualitatively comparable abnormalities were found in monocytes from the five FH patients, and these were little affected when the patients' plasma cholesterol levels were almost normalized by low density lipoprotein apheresis. In keeping with the abnormalities in the eicosanoid metabolism, monocytes from HC patients exhibited a defective ability (p < 0.05) to generate O2-, the extent of which was correlated with the impaired formation of leukotriene B4. On the other hand, adhesion studies indicated that patients' cells exhibited an abnormally high ability to adhere to glass (p < 0.01). These data indicate the presence of functionally abnormal monocytes in hypercholesterolemia and suggest a direction to be followed to understand the importance of such cells in the premature atherosclerosis that occurs in these patients.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association