Phagocytosis of Cholesteryl Ester Is Amplified in Diabetic Mouse Macrophages and Is Largely Mediated by CD36 and SR-A

Christopher B. Guest, Matthew E. Hartman, Jason C. O'Connor, Kenneth S. Chakour, Ali A. Sovari, Gregory G. Freund

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16 Scopus citations


Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with accelerated atherosclerosis, which accounts for approximately 75% of all diabetes-related deaths. Here we investigate the link between diabetes and macrophage cholesteryl ester accumulation. When diabetic (db/db) mice are given cholesteryl ester intraperitoneally (IP), peritoneal macrophages (PerMΦs) recovered from these animals showed a 58% increase in intracellular cholesteryl ester accumulation over PerMΦs from heterozygote control (db/+) mice. Notably, PerMΦ fluid-phase endocytosis and large particle phagocytosis was equivalent in db/+and db/db mice. However, IP administration of CD36 and SR-A blocking antibodies led to 37% and 25% reductions in cholesteryl ester accumulation in PerMΦ. Finally, in order to determine if these scavenger receptors (SRs) were part of the mechanism responsible for the increased accumulation of cholesteryl esters observed in the diabetic mouse macrophages, receptor expression was quantified by flow cytometry. Importantly, db/db PerMΦs showed a 43% increase in CD36 expression and an 80% increase in SR-A expression. Taken together, these data indicate that direct cholesteryl ester accumulation in mouse macrophages is mediated by CD36 and SR-A, and the magnitude of accumulation is increased in db/db macrophages due to increased scavenger receptor expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere511
JournalPloS one
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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