Cholestan-3gb,5α,6β-triol decreases barrier function of cultured endothelial cell monolayers

Bernhard Hennig, Gilbert A. Boissonneault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Cholesterol oxidation products (oxysterols) found in foods may be atherogenic, possibly by altering the barrier function of the vascular endothelium. To investigate this hypothesis, endothelial cells were cultured on micropore filters and the effect of cholesterol and the oxysterol cholestan-3β,5α,6β-triol (Triol) on albumin transfer across cultured vascular endothelial monolayers (ECM) was studied. Exposure to Triol significantly increased albumin transfer across ECM. The effect of Triol on endothelial cell barrier function was time and concentration dependent, with maximum albumin transfer being reached at 20 μM Triol and after a 24-h exposure. Pure cholesterol, on the other hand, did not affect albumin transfer at concentrations as high as 130 μM Although an increase in albumin transfer across ECM was observed after a 2-h incubation with Triol-enriched media, a 24-h incubation period was necessary to cause a significant release of cellular lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) into the culture media. Morphological perturbations of the cell monolayers were observed at approx. 14-18 h after cell exposure to Triol-enriched media. Enrichment with cholesterol or vitamin E did not prevent the Triol-induced increase in albumin transfer across ECM. These results suggest that exposure to oxidized cholesterol, but not cholesterol itself, reduces the ability of the endothelium to act as a selectively permeable barrier to plasma components, and that these events may not be prevented by cholesterol or vitamin E.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-261
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1987

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported in part by grant HL 34423 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health; a grant from the American Heart Association, Kentucky Affiliate; and the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station.


  • Albumin transfer
  • Cholesterol
  • Endothelial cell
  • Injury
  • Oxysterol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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