Rheumatology International

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 591–598

Plasma from systemic lupus patients compromises cholesterol homeostasis: a potential mechanism linking autoimmunity to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease

  • Allison B. Reiss
  • Kamran Anwar
  • Joan T. Merrill
  • Edwin S. L. Chan
  • Nahel W. Awadallah
  • Bruce N. Cronstein
  • H. Michael Belmont
  • Elise Belilos
  • Gary Rosenblum
  • Kristina Belostocki
  • Lois Bonetti
  • Kowser Hasneen
  • Steven E. Carsons
Original Article


Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) contributes to morbidity and mortality in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Immunologic derangements may disrupt cholesterol balance in vessel wall monocytes/macrophages and endothelium. We determined whether lupus plasma impacts expression of cholesterol 27-hydroxylase, an anti-atherogenic cholesterol-degrading enzyme that promotes cellular cholesterol efflux, in THP-1 human monocytes and primary human aortic endothelial cells (HAEC). THP-1 monocytes and HAEC were incubated in medium containing SLE patient plasma or apparently healthy control human plasma (CHP). SLE plasma decreased 27-hydroxylase message in THP-1 monocytes by 47 ± 8% (p < 0.008) and in HAEC by 51 ± 5.5% (n = 5, p < 0.001). THP-1 macrophages were incubated in 25% lupus plasma or CHP and cholesterol-loaded (50 µg ml−1 acetylated low density lipoprotein). Lupus plasma more than doubled macrophage foam cell transformation (74 ± 3% vs. 35 ± 3% for CHP, n = 3, p < 0.001). Impaired cholesterol homeostasis in SLE provides further evidence of immune involvement in atherogenesis. Strategies to inhibit or reverse arterial cholesterol accumulation may benefit SLE patients.


Lupus erythematosus Systemic Atherosclerosis Cholesterol Macrophage scavenger receptor Foam cells 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allison B. Reiss
    • 1
  • Kamran Anwar
    • 1
  • Joan T. Merrill
    • 2
  • Edwin S. L. Chan
    • 3
  • Nahel W. Awadallah
    • 3
  • Bruce N. Cronstein
    • 3
  • H. Michael Belmont
    • 3
  • Elise Belilos
    • 1
  • Gary Rosenblum
    • 1
  • Kristina Belostocki
    • 1
  • Lois Bonetti
    • 1
  • Kowser Hasneen
    • 3
  • Steven E. Carsons
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Vascular Biology Institute, Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and ImmunologyWinthrop-University HospitalMineolaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Clinical PharmacologyOklahoma Medical Research FoundationOklahoma CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of MedicineNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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