Original ArticlesCellular activation responses in blood in relation to lipid pattern: healthy men and women in families with myocardial infarction or cancerØsterud, B.; Elvevoll, E. O.; Brox, J.; Olsen, J. O.Author Information B. Østerud and J. O. Olsen are with the Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Medical Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway; E O. Elvevoll is with the Department of Marine Biotechnology, Norwegian College of Fishery Science, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway; and J. Brox is with the University Hospital of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway. (Received 20 November 2001; revised 11 March 2002; accepted 15 March 2002) Sponsorship: This study was supported by grants from the Norwegian Research Council, the Norwegian Council on Cardiovascular Diseases, the Nansen Foundation and the Regional Authority of Northern Norway. Address correspondence to Dr Bjarne Østerud, Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Medical Biology, University of Tromsø, 9037 Tromsø, Norway. Tel: (+47) 77644730; fax: (+47) 776 46409; e-mail: Bjarne. [email protected] Blood Coagulation & Fibrinolysis: July 2002 - Volume 13 - Issue 5 - p 399-405 Buy Abstract High cholesterol is a well-established risk factor of myocardial infarction (MI). Since monocytes play a pivotal role in the development of atherosclerosis, one might anticipate that their functional properties are very important in relation to MI. In the present study, we have explored how the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced reactivity of monocytes in whole blood in vitro relates to the serum lipid profile of healthy subjects with a history of MI or cancer in their close family. Twenty of the 54 subjects (of the total 266 test subjects) in the MI families had moderately high cholesterol (7.1–10.2 mmol/l), whereas 34 had normal cholesterol. Nineteen of the normocholesterol individuals had hyperactive monocytes (high responders), whereas 15 had monocytes responding normally. Two of the 20 subjects in the high cholesterol group had hyperactive monocytes. LPS-induced tissue factor, tumour necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 were on the average three to four times higher in the normocholesterol group compared with the moderately hypercholesterol group, and hence no positive correlation was found between hyperactive monocytes and cholesterol. The 42 subjects in the families with cancer had normal cholesterol, and two of these subjects had very high LPS-induced tissue factor, tumour necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6, whereas eight of the 170 subjects without MI or cancer in their family were high responders. This further substantiates the notion that moderately high cholesterol is not associated with enhanced monocyte activation in whole blood. Hyperactive peripheral blood monocytes are suggested to be associated with a significant risk factor in developing coronary heart disease. © 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.