Fluorescence studies of macrophage recognition and endocytosis of native and acetylated low-density lipoprotein

Kelly A. Berg, Marcia L. Berry, Stephen A. Sapareto, Howard R. Petty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Macrophage recognition and endocytosis of 1,1′-dioctadecyl-3,3,3′,3′-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (diI)-labeled low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and acetyl LDL (Ac-LDL) was studied using fluorescence flow cytometry and fluorescence video intensification microscopy. RAW264 macrophages and U937 monocytes were grown in the tissue culture media in the presence and absence of LDL and Ac-LDL. Several lines of evidence indicate that receptor-mediated endocytosis of diI-labeled LDL or Ac-LDL was taking place. Binding can be distinguished from binding plus endocytosis by incubation at 4 and 37°C, respectively. Binding was saturable at 4°C and uptake at 37°C was time- and ligand dose-dependent. Also, unlabeled LDL and Ac-LDL compete for their receptors. Macrophages grown in the presence or absence of LDL demonstrated distinct labeling patterns. LDL receptors were significantly increased by culture in defined medium without serum lipoproteins, while Ac-LDL receptors remained unaffected. Flow cytometry can provide an important tool to examine receptor levels, modulation of these levels and receptor-mediated endocytosis. Video intensification microscopy of similarly labeled cells has been performed. Receptors appear as punctate fluorescence, usually distributed randomly across the cell surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-314
Number of pages11
JournalBBA - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 1986
Externally publishedYes


  • (Macrophage)
  • Acetylated lipoprotein
  • Endocytosis
  • LDL recognition
  • lipoprotein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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