Comparison of macrophage responses to oxidized low-density lipoprotein and macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF or CSF-1)

Biochem J. 2001 Feb 15;354(Pt 1):179-87. doi: 10.1042/0264-6021:3540179.


Modification of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), for example by oxidation, could be involved in foam cell formation and proliferation observed in atherosclerotic lesions. Macrophage colony-stimulating factor (CSF-1 or M-CSF) has been implicated in foam cell development. It has been reported previously that oxidized LDL (ox.LDL) and CSF-1 synergistically stimulate DNA synthesis in murine bone-marrow-derived macrophages (BMM). The critical signal-transduction cascades responsible for the proliferative response to ox.LDL, as well as their relationship to those mediating CSF-1 action, are unknown. We report here that ox.LDL stimulated extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK)-1, ERK-2 and phosphoinositide 3-kinase activities in BMM but to a weaker extent than optimal CSF-1 concentrations at the time points examined. Inhibitor studies suggested at least a partial role for these kinases, as well as p70 S6-kinase, in ox.LDL-induced macrophage survival and DNA synthesis. For the DNA synthesis response to CSF-1, the degree of inhibition by PD98059, wortmannin and rapamycin was significant at low CSF-1 concentrations but was reduced as the CSF-1 dose increased. Using BMM from CSF-1-deficient mice (op/op) and a neutralizing antibody approach, we found no evidence for an essential role for endogenous CSF-1 in ox.LDL-mediated survival or DNA synthesis; likewise, with the same approaches, no evidence was obtained for an essential role for endogenous granulocyte/macrophage-CSF in ox.LDL-mediated macrophage survival and, in contrast with the literature, ox.LDL-induced macrophage DNA synthesis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Androstadienes / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells / physiology
  • DNA Replication / physiology
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / physiology*
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / physiology*
  • Macrophages / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1 / metabolism
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Wortmannin


  • Androstadienes
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Flavonoids
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • oxidized low density lipoprotein
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • 2-(2-amino-3-methoxyphenyl)-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one
  • Wortmannin