Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 116, Issue 1, pp 171–179

Lipid metabolism of myocardial endothelial cells

  • Kees Schoonderwoerd
  • Hans Stam

DOI: 10.1007/BF01270585

Cite this article as:
Schoonderwoerd, K. & Stam, H. Mol Cell Biochem (1992) 116: 171. doi:10.1007/BF01270585


The vascular endothelium can be regarded as a widely distributed organ, interposed between the intravascular and extravascular spaces, with a pluripotent function in the regulation of capillary diameter, vascular homeostasis, lipoprotein metabolism and the vascular response to injury. In the basal physiological state these processes provide a non-thrombotic, non-inflammatory vascular lining preventing uncontrolled inflammation and coagulation. Endothelial cells respond to potential harmful conditions (mechanical stress, anoxia, ischemia and oxidative stress) and a variety of hormones and vasoactive mediators by inducing coagulation and production of inflammatory mediators through the production of ‘bioactive’ lipids. Although the number of studies in isolated myocardial endothelial cells is limited, from the presumed metabolic analogy with endothelial cells isolated (and cultured) from other organs, one may conclude that the bioactive lipids include oxygenated arachidonate metabolites (eicosanoids) and the platelet activating factor (1--O-alkyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycerol-3-phosphocholine; PAF). All aspects of lipid metabolism, related to the production of eicosanoids and PAF, are present within myocardial endothelial cells. There is uptake and incorporation of fatty acids by endothelial cells and liberation from endogenous triacylglycerol and (membrane) phospholipid stores by (phospho)lipases. Endothelial cells oxidize fatty acids in a carnitine-dependent, mitochondrial, pathway. Endothelial cells actively interact with high density lipoprotein (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL) leading to uptake of cholesterol(esters) that undergo intracellular hydrolysis, and re-esterification to phosphoand neutral lipids, and leaving the LDL-particle modified in a way that makes them bind to the scavenger receptor on macrophages. Extravascular triacylglycerols in lipoproteins (very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), chylomicrons) are handled by endothelial cell lipoprotein lipase, providing substrate fatty acids for the underlying muscle tissue. Eicosanoid production from (membrane)phospholipids and PAF synthesis from alkylphospholipids are tightly coupled and interrelated to the flow of arachidonic acid between cellular lipid pools. (Mol Cell Biochem116: 171–179, 1992)

Key words

endotheliummyocardiumlipid metabolismeicosanoidsplatelet activating factor (PAF)

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kees Schoonderwoerd
    • 1
  • Hans Stam
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry I, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesErasmus University RotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry I, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands