Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (Ox-LDL) is believed to play an important role in the progression of atherosclerosis. Oxidative modification of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is a prerequisite for rapid accumulation of LDL in macrophages and for the formation of foam cells. Because of high antioxidant levels in plasma, LDL oxidation is suggested to occur mainly in the subendothelial space of the arterial wall, where there is the concomitant presence of large amounts of reactive oxygen species generated by endothelial cells and activated leukocytes. After Ox-LDL formation, antibodies against this form of LDL may occur. Auto-antibodies against Ox-LDL (AuAb-Ox-LDL) show directly in in-vivo LDL oxidation. Many studies have indicated that the amount of antibodies in serum is positively correlated to the rate of progression of atherosclerotic plaques.
Design and methods
In this study the effect of lipid-lowering therapy on the levels of AuAb-Ox-LDL in patients with dyslipidemia was determined using atorvastatin (10 mg/day), and the relationship between the antibodies and plasma total antioxidant status (TAS) and LDL oxidation capacity was also investigated. Serum levels of AuAb-Ox-LDL, lipids, lipoproteins, TAS and susceptibility of LDL to oxidation were determined using lag time in 44 patients with dyslipidemia (29 with hypercholesterolemia and 15 with mixed-type hyperlipidemia).
After lipid-lowering therapy, serum levels of AuAb-Ox-LDL were found to be significantly decreased, by 18.7%, while lag time and plasma TAS were increased (31.3% and 7.6% respectively) in patients with dyslipidemia. The percentage change in lag time was found to be negatively correlated to the percentage change in AuAb-Ox-LDL (r = −0.31, P < 0.05). The percentage change in lag time also showed a positive correlation with the percentage change in TAS (r = 0.58, P < 0.01). AuAb-Ox-LDL levels decreased by 21.7% in patients with hypercholesterolemia and by 12.6% in patients with mixed-type hyperlipidemia. Also AuAb-Ox-LDL levels in patients with hypercholesterolemia were higher than in those with mixed-type hyperlipidemia (367 ± 294 compared with 300 ± 176 mU/l).
It was concluded that lipid-lowering therapy may contribute to the reduction in levels of AuAb-Ox-LDL and the increase in the antioxidant capacity of plasma LDL and TAS. It was also suggested that the measurement of antibodies against Ox-LDL during lipid-lowering therapy may be used as an important marker for representing in-vivo LDL oxidation and atherosclerotic processes.