Effect of Native and Minimally Modified Low-density Lipoprotein on the Activation of Monocyte Subsets

Arch Med Res. 2017 Jul;48(5):432-440. doi: 10.1016/j.arcmed.2017.11.001. Epub 2017 Nov 10.


Background: In atherosclerosis, monocytes are essential and secrete pro-inflammatory cytokines in response to modified low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Human CD14++CD16-, CD14++CD16+ and CD14+CD16++ monocytes produce different cytokines. The objective of this research was to determine the number of monocyte subsets positives to cytokines in response to native (nLDL) and minimally modified LDL (mmLDL).

Methods: Human monocytes from healthy individuals were purified by negative selection and were stimulated with nLDL, mmLDL or LPS. Subsequently, human total monocytes were incubated with monoclonal antibodies specific for CD14 or both CD14 and CD16 to characterize total monocytes and monocyte subsets and with antibodies specific to anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, anti-interleukin (IL)-6 and anti-IL-10. The number of cells positive for cytokines was determined and cells cultured with nLDL, mmLDL and LPS were compared with cells cultured only with culture medium.

Results: We found that nLDL does not induce in the total monocyte population or in the three monocyte subsets positives to cytokines. MmLDL induced in total monocytes positives to TNF-α and IL-6 as well as in both CD14++CD16+ and CD14+CD16++ and in CD14++CD16+ monocytes, respectively. Moreover, total monocytes and the three monocyte subsets expressed few amounts of cells positives to IL-10 in response to mmLDL.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that nLDL did not induce cells positives to cytokines and that the CD14++CD16+ and CD14+CD16++ monocyte subsets could be the main sources of TNF-α and IL-6, respectively, in response to mmLDL, which promotes the development and progression of atherosclerotic plaque.

Keywords: IL-6; Monocyte subsets; TNF-α; mmLDL; nLDL.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-10 / immunology
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / immunology
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors / immunology
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / metabolism*
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / pharmacology
  • Monocytes / drug effects
  • Monocytes / metabolism*
  • Receptors, IgG / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cytokines
  • IL10 protein, human
  • IL6 protein, human
  • Interleukin-6
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Receptors, IgG
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interleukin-10