8-isoprostane increases scavenger receptor A and matrix metalloproteinase activity in THP-1 macrophages, resulting in long-lived foam cells

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Oxidative stress is a key factor in atherogenesis, in which it is closely associated with the inflammation and formation of bioactive lipids. Although 8-isoprostane is regarded as a reliable marker of oxidative stress in vivo, the pathogenic role of this F2-isoprostane in atherogenesis is far from clear. Based on the important role of foam cells in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis we hereby examined the ability of 8-isoprostane to modulate oxidized (ox)LDL-induced foam cell formation and the function of these cells, particularly focusing on the effect on matrix degradation.

Methods and results

8-isoprostane (10 μM) augmented the oxLDL-induced (20 μg mL−1) lipid accumulation of THP-1 macrophages evaluated by Oil-Red-O staining and lipid mass quantification (colourimetric assay). Additionally, 8-isoprostane induced the expression of the scavenger receptor A type 1 (MSR-1) [mRNA and protein level], assessed by RT-PCR and Western blotting, respectively. Moreover, 8-isoprostane counteracted the oxLDL-induced apoptosis of these cells, involving both mitochondrial-protective and caspase-suppressive mechanisms. Along with these changes, 8-isoprostane increased the oxLDL-induced gene expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 and its endogenous inhibitor [i.e. tissue inhibitor of MMP (TIMP)-1] accompanied by enhanced total MMP activity.


We show that 8-isoprostane increases foam cell formation at least partly by enhancing MSR-1 expression and by inhibiting apoptosis of these cells, inducing long-lived foam cells with enhanced matrix degrading capacity. Our findings further support a role for 8-isoprostane not only as a marker of oxidative stress in patients with atherosclerotic disorders, but also as a mediator in atherogenesis and plaque destabilization.

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