Oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor LOX-1 and apoptosis in human atherosclerotic lesions

D. Y. Li, H. J. Chen, E. D. Staples, K. Ozaki, B. Annex, B. K. Singh, R. Vermani, J. L. Mehtat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Background: Lectin-like oxidized LDL receptor-1 (LOX-1), a novel receptor for oxidized low-density lipoprotein, mediates oxidized low-density lipoprotein-induced apoptosis of endothelial cells, monocyte adhesion to endothelium, and phagocytosis of aged cells. The present study examined the role of LOX-1 and apoptosis in human atherosclerotic lesions. Methods and Results: Grafted vein (n = 8), human carotid artery endarterectomy (n = 11), and normal human internal mammary artery (n = 8) specimens were used to study the expression of LOX-1 and apoptosis. LOX-1 expression was determined by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, Western analysis, and immunostaining. Presence of apoptosis was determined by fluorescent in situ nick end-labeling staining and by the presence of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase protein (an apoptotic marker). Expression of LOX-1 was significantly increased in atherosclerotic grafted vein and carotid artery specimens compared with that in normal arteries. LOX-1 was expressed in endothelial cells, macrophages, and smooth muscle cells. LOX-1 was extensively expressed in the new blood vessels in the core of advanced atherosclerotic lesions. Double immunostaining showed LOX-1 expression to be colocalized with apoptotic cells. Fluorescent in situ nick end-labeling staining showed that the apoptotic cells were present mostly in the rupture-prone regions of the atherosclerotic plaque. Conclusion: These observations indicate that LOX-1 is extensively expressed in the proliferated intima of grafted veins and in advanced atherosclerotic carotid arteries. Further, LOX-1 is colocalized with apoptotic cells. These observations may relate to the phenomenon of plaque rupture, and provide targets for developing new therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-153
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Atherosclerosis
  • LOX-1
  • Ox-low-density lipoprotein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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