Scientific article

Macrophages release plasma membrane-derived particles rich in accessible cholesterol

Published inProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 115, no. 36, p. E8499-E8508
Publication date2018

Macrophages are generally assumed to unload surplus cholesterol through direct interactions between ABC transporters on the plasma membrane and HDLs, but they have also been reported to release cholesterol-containing particles. How macrophage-derived particles are formed and released has not been clear. To understand the genesis of macrophage-derived particles, we imaged mouse macrophages by EM and nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (nanoSIMS). By scanning EM, we found that large numbers of 20- to 120-nm particles are released from the fingerlike projections (filopodia) of macrophages. These particles attach to the substrate, forming a “lawn” of particles surrounding macrophages. By nanoSIMS imaging we showed that these particles are enriched in the mobile and metabolically active accessible pool of cholesterol (detectable by ALO-D4, a modified version of a cholesterol-binding cytolysin). The cholesterol content of macrophage-derived particles was increased by loading the cells with cholesterol or by adding LXR and RXR agonists to the cell-culture medium. Incubating macrophages with HDL reduced the cholesterol content of macrophage-derived particles. We propose that release of accessible cholesterol-rich particles from the macrophage plasma membrane could assist in disposing of surplus cholesterol and increase the efficiency of cholesterol movement to HDL.

Citation (ISO format)
HE, Cuiwen et al. Macrophages release plasma membrane-derived particles rich in accessible cholesterol. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2018, vol. 115, n° 36, p. E8499–E8508. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1810724115
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0027-8424

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