Role of group II secretory phospholipase A2 in atherosclerosis: 2. Potential involvement of biologically active oxidized phospholipids

Norbert Leitinger, Andrew D. Watson, Susan Y. Hama, Boris Ivandic, Jian Hua Qiao, Joakim Huber, Kym F. Faull, David S. Grass, Mohamad Navab, Alan M. Fogelman, Frederick C. De Beer, Aldons J. Lusis, Judith A. Berliner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


Secretory nonpancreatic phospholipase A2 (group II sPLA2) is induced in inflammation and present in atherosclerotic lesions. In an accompanying publication we demonstrate that transgenic mice expressing group II sPLA2 developed severe atherosclerosis. The current study was undertaken to determine whether 1 mechanism by which group II sPLA2 might contribute to the progression of inflammation and atherosclerosis is by increasing the formation of biologically active oxidized phospholipids. In vivo measurements of bioactive lipids were performed, and in vitro studies tested the hypothesis that sPLA2 can increase the accumulation of bioactive phospholipids. We have shown previously that 3 oxidized phospholipids derived from the oxidation of 1-palmitoyl-2-arachidonoyl-sn-glycero-3- phosphorylcholine (PAPC) stimulated endothelial cells to bind monocytes, a process that is known to be an important step in atherogenesis. We now show that these 3 biologically active phospholipids are significantly increased in livers of sPLA2 transgenic mice fed a high-fat diet as compared with nontransgenic littermates. We present in vitro evidence for several mechanisms by which these phospholipids may be increased in sPLA2 transgenics. These studies demonstrated that polyunsaturated free fatty acids, which are liberated by sPLA2, increased the formation of bioactive phospholipids in LDL, resulting in increased ability to stimulate monocyte- endothelial interactions. Moreover, sPLA2-treated LDL was oxidized by cocultures of human aortic endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells more efficiently than untreated LDL. Analysis by electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry revealed that the bioactive phospholipids, compared with unoxidized PAPC, were less susceptible to hydrolysis by human recombinant group II sPLA2. In addition, HDL from the transgenic mice and human HDL treated with recombinant sPLA2 in vitro failed, in the coculture system, to protect against the formation of biologically active phospholipids in LDL. This lack of protection may in part relate to the decreased levels of paraoxonase seen in the HDL isolated from the transgenic animals. Taken together, these studies show that levels of biologically active oxidized phospholipids are increased in sPLA2 transgenic mice; they also suggest that this increase may be mediated by effects of sPLA2 on both LDL and HDL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1291-1298
Number of pages8
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1999


  • Inflammation
  • LDL oxidation
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Mice
  • Phospholipids
  • Spectrum analysis, mass
  • Transgenic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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