Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Formation of monohydroxy derivatives of arachidonic acid, linoleic acid, and oleic acid during oxidation of low density lipoprotein by copper ions and endothelial cells.


An important event in the formation of atherosclerotic lesions is the uptake of modified low density lipoprotein (LDL) by macrophages via scavenger receptors. Modification of LDL, which results in its recognition by these receptors, can be initiated by peroxidation of LDL lipids. The first step in this process is the formation of monohydroperoxy derivatives of fatty acids, which are subsequently degraded to the corresponding monohydroxy compounds, or to a variety of secondary oxidation products. In order to understand this process more completely, we have developed a mass spectrometric procedure to measure the amounts of specific hydroperoxy/hydroxy fatty acids formed by oxidation of the major unsaturated fatty acids in human LDL, oleic acid, linoleic acid, and arachidonic acid. Oxidation of human LDL in the presence of a relatively strong stimulus (20 microM CuSO4) resulted in very large increases in the amounts of the major monohydroxy derivatives of linoleic acid (9- and 13-hydroxy derivatives) and arachidonic acid (5-, 8-, 9-, 11-, 12-, and 15-hydroxy derivatives) in LDL lipids in the early stages of the reaction. After 20 h, the amounts of these products declined due to substrate depletion, but large amounts of monohydroxy derivatives of oleic acid (8-, 10-, and 11-hydroxy derivatives) were detected. Although thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances clearly increased under these conditions, the changes were not nearly so dramatic as those observed for monohydroxy fatty acids. Oxidation of LDL in the presence of endothelial cells, a much milder stimulus, resulted in 2.5- to 3-fold increases in the amounts of monohydroxy derivatives of linoleic and arachidonic acids, as well as thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, with more modest increases in the amounts of hydroxylated derivatives of oleic acid. There was little positional specificity in the oxidation of the above fatty acids in the presence of either stimulus, suggesting that the formation of these products proceeds primarily by lipid peroxidation, rather than by catalysis by lipoxygenases. However, an important role for lipoxygenases in the initiation of these reactions cannot be excluded. In conclusion, oxidation of LDL in the presence of copper ions or endothelial cells results in the formation of a large number of monohydroxy derivatives of oleic, linoleic, and arachidonic acids. The relative amounts of products formed from each of these fatty acids depends on the strength of the stimulus as well as the incubation time.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View