Low density lipoprotein levels (LDL) are consistently elevated in cardiovascular disease. It has been suggested that those with high circulating LDL levels in mid-life may be susceptible to develop neurodegenerative diseases in later life. In the circulation, high levels of LDL are associated with increased oxidative modification (oxLDL) and nitration. We have investigated the hypothesis that disruption of blood brain barrier function by oxLDL and their lipids may increase risk of neurodegeneration in later life and that statin intervention in mid-life can mitigate the neurodegenerative effects of hyperlipidaemia. Blood from statin-naïve, normo- and hyperlipidaemic subjects (n=10/group) was collected at baseline. Hyperlipidaemic subjects received statin-intervention whereas normolipidaemic subjects did not prior to a second blood sampling, taken after 3 months. The intervention will be completed in June 2013. Plasma was separated by centrifugation (200g, 30min) and LDL was isolated by potassium bromide density gradient ultracentrifugation. Total homocysteine, LDL cholesterol, 8-isoprostane F2α levels were measured in plasma using commercial kits. LDL were analysed by agarose gel electrophoresis. LDL-lipids were extracted by partitioning in 1:1 chloroform:methanol (v/v) and conjugated to fatty acid free-BSA in serum-free EGM-2 medium (4hrs, 370C) for co-culture with human microvascular endothelial cells (HMVEC). HMVEC were maintained on polycarbonate inserts for two weeks to create a microvascular barrier. Change in barrier permeability was measured by trans-endothelial electrical resistance (TER), FITC-dextran permeability and immunohistochemistry. HMVEC glutathione (GSH) levels were measured after 2 hours by GSH-glo assay. LDL isolated from statin-naïve hyperlipidaemic subjects had higher mobility by agarose gel electrophoresis (Rf;0.53±0.06) and plasma 8-isoprostane F2α (43.5±8.42 pg/ml) compared to control subjects (0.46±0.05 and 24.2±5.37 pg/ml; p<0.05). Compared to HMVEC treatment with the LDL-lipids (5μM) from normolipidaemic subjects, LDL-lipids from hyperlipidaemic subjects increased barrier permeability (103.4±12.5 Ωcm2 v 66.7±7.3 Ωcm2,P<0.01) and decreased GSH (18.5 nmol/mg v 12.3 nmol/mg; untreated cells 26.2±3.6 nmol/mg).
SFRR - Europe 2013 Meeting "The new era of -omics in Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine", 23 - 25 Sep 2013, Athens, Greece.