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Effect of Oxysterol-Induced Apoptosis of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells on Experimental Hypercholesterolemia

Author(s): Sonia Perales | M. José Alejandre | Rogelio Palomino-Morales | Carolina Torres | Jose Iglesias | Ana Linares

Journal: Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
ISSN 1110-7243

Volume: 2009;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Smooth muscle cells (SMCs) undergo changes related to proliferation and apoptosis in the physiological remodeling of vessels and in diseases such as atherosclerosis and restenosis. Recent studies also have demonstrated the vascular cell proliferation and programmed cell death contribute to changes in vascular architecture in normal development and in disease. The present study was designed to investigate the apoptotic pathways induced by 25-hydroxycholesterol in SMCs cultures, using an in vivo/in vitro cell model in which SMCs were isolated and culture from chicken exposed to an atherogenic cholesterol-rich diet (SMC-Ch) and/or an antiatherogenic fish oil-rich diet (SMC-Ch-FO). Cells were exposed in vitro to 25-hydroxycholesterol to study levels of apoptosis and apoptotic proteins Bcl-2, Bcl-XL and Bax and the expression of bcl-2 and bcl-xL, genes. The quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and the Immunoblotting western blot analysis showed that 25-hydroxycholesterol produces apoptosis in SMCs, mediated by a high increase in Bax protein and Bax gene expression. These changes were more marked in SMC-Ch than in SMC-Ch-FO, indicating that dietary cholesterol produces changes in SMCs that make them more susceptible to 25-hydroxycholesterol-mediated apoptosis. Our results suggest that the replacement of a cholesterol-rich diet with a fish oil-rich diet produces some reversal of cholesterol-induced changes in the apoptotic pathways induced by 25-hydroxycholesterol in SMCs cultures, making SMCs more resistant to apoptosis.
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