Expression of liver X receptor alpha and lipid metabolism in granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor-induced human monocyte-derived macrophage

Pathol Int. 2009 Mar;59(3):152-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1827.2009.02343.x.


Liver X receptor (LXR) is a nuclear receptor that acts as a sterol sensor and metabolic regulator of cholesterol and lipid homeostasis. The foam cell transformation of macrophages (Mvarphi) is considered a critical process in atherosclerotic lesions. The relationship, however, of the foam cell transformation of Mvarphi and LXR is not fully understood. The purpose of the present study was to examine the expression of LXRalpha, retinoid X receptor (RXR)alpha, ATP-binding cassette transporter (ABCA1), and macrophage scavenger receptor A (MSR-A), and lipid accumulation in human monocyte-derived Mvarphi. The expression of LXRalpha, ABCA1, MSR-A in 7 day cultured granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF)-induced Mvarphi (GM-Mvarphi) was significantly higher than that in 7 day cultured M-CSF-induced Mvarphi (M-Mvarphi). The expression levels of LXRalpha, ABCA1 and MSR-A protein decreased from 48 h to 5 days after the addition of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in GM-Mvarphi, but only MSR-A protein decreased at 5 days after the addition of LPS in M-Mvarphi. Intracellular lipid accumulation was clearly observed when GM-Mvarphi was pre-stimulated with LPS for 48 h and incubated with oxidized LDL for an additional 5 days. These findings suggest that the inhibitory activity of LXRalpha, ABCA1 and MSR-A by LPS may be related to the transformation of Mvarphis, especially GM-Mvarphi into foam cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter 1
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / biosynthesis
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / genetics
  • Blotting, Western
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Foam Cells / cytology
  • Foam Cells / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / metabolism*
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lipid Metabolism / genetics*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Liver X Receptors
  • Orphan Nuclear Receptors
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / biosynthesis*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / genetics
  • Retinoid X Receptors / biosynthesis
  • Retinoid X Receptors / genetics
  • Scavenger Receptors, Class A / biosynthesis
  • Scavenger Receptors, Class A / genetics


  • ABCA1 protein, human
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter 1
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Liver X Receptors
  • MSR1 protein, human
  • NR1H3 protein, human
  • Orphan Nuclear Receptors
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Retinoid X Receptors
  • Scavenger Receptors, Class A
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor