Effects of lycopene on the induction of foam cell formation by modified LDL

Napolitano, M and De Pascale, C and Wheeler-Jones, C P D and Botham, K M and Bravo, E (2007) Effects of lycopene on the induction of foam cell formation by modified LDL. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-ENDOCRINOLOGY AND METABOLISM, 293 (6). E1820-E1827.

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Abstract

The effect of lycopene on macrophage foam cell formation induced by modified low-density lipoprotein (LDL) was studied. Human monocyte-derived macrophages (HMDM) were incubated with lycopene in the presence or absence of native LDL (nLDL) or LDL modified by oxidation (oxLDL), aggregation (aggLDL), or acetylation (acLDL). The cholesterol content, lipid synthesis, scavenger receptor activity, and the secretion of inflammatory [interleukin (IL)-1 beta and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha] and anti-inflammatory (IL-10) cytokines was determined. Lycopene was found to decrease the synthesis of cholesterol ester in incubations without LDL or with oxLDL while triacylglycerol synthesis was reduced in the presence of oxLDL and aggLDL. Scavenger receptor activity as assessed by the uptake of acLDL was decreased by similar to 30% by lycopene. In addition, lycopene inhibited IL-10 secretion by up to 74% regardless of the presence of nLDL or aggLDL but did not affect IL-1 beta or TNF-alpha release. Lycopene also reduced the relative abundance of mRNA transcripts for scavenger receptor A (SR-A) in THP-1 macrophages treated with aggLDL. These findings suggest that lycopene may reduce macrophage foam cell formation induced by modified LDL by decreasing lipid synthesis and downregulating the activity and expression of SR-A. However, these effects are accompanied by impaired secretion of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, suggesting that lycopene may also exert a concomitant proinflammatory effect.

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