LDL-Lipids from patients with hypercholesterolaemia and Alzheimer's disease are inflammatory to microvascular endothelial cells: mitigation by statin intervention

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Elevated LDL concentration in mid-life increases the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD) in later life. Increased oxidative modification (oxLDL) and nitration is observed during dementia and hypercholesterolemia. We investigated the hypothesis that statin intervention in mid-life mitigates the inflammatory effects of oxLDL on the microvasculature. Human microvascular endothelial cells (HMVEC) were maintained on transwells to mimic the microvasculature and exposed to patient and control LDL. Blood was obtained from statin-naïve, normo- and hyperlipidaemic subjects, AD with vascular dementia (AD-plus) and AD subjects (n=10/group) at baseline. Only hyperlipidaemic subjects with normal cognitive function received 40mg simvastatin intervention/day for three months. Blood was re-analysed from normo- and hyper-lipidaemic subjects after three months. LDL isolated from statin-naïve hyperlipidaemic, AD and AD-plus subjects was more oxidised (agarose gel electrophoretic mobility, protein carbonyl content and 8-isoprostane F2α) compared to control subjects. Statin intervention decreased protein carbonyls (2.5±0.4 Vs 3.95±0.2nmol/mg; P<0.001) and 8-isoprostane F2α (30.4±4.0 pg/ml Vs 43.5±8.42 pg/ml; P<0.05). HMVEC treatment with LDL-lipids from hyperlipidaemic, AD and AD-plus subjects impaired endothelial tight junction expression and decreased total glutathione levels (AD; 18.61±1.3, AD-plus; 16.5±0.7nmol/mg protein) compared to untreated cells (23.8±1.2 vs nmol/mg protein). Basolateral IL-6 secretion was increased by LDL-lipids from hyperlipidaemic (78.4±1.9 pg/ml), AD (63.2±5.9 pg/ml) and AD-plus (80.8±0.9 pg/ml) groups compared to healthy subject lipids (18.6±3.6 pg/ml). LDL-Lipids isolated after statin intervention did not affect endothelial function. In summary, LDL-lipids from hypercholesterolaemic, AD and AD-plus patients are inflammatory to HMVEC. In vivo intervention with statins reduces the damaging effects of LDL-lipids on HMVEC.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1195-1206
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Science
Early online date23 Sep 2015
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015

Bibliographic note

The final peer-reviewed Version of Record was published in Clinical science and is avaialble on http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/CS20150351


  • LDL lipoproteins, Alzheimer diseas, endothelial cell


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