Excessive uptake of oxidized low density lipoprotein plays a role in the onset of atherosclerosis. Lipid-associated antioxidants, the most abundant of which is tocopherol (vitamin E), are therefore believed to have anti-atherogenic properties. By contrast, hydroperoxides enhance the peroxidation of low density lipoprotein. We demonstrate that none of these compounds markedly affect the maximal rate of oxidation of low density lipoprotein, whereas the lag preceding rapid oxidation is prolonged by tocopherol but shortened by hydroperoxides. The corresponding 'prolongation' and 'shortening' can be compensated by each other in low density lipoprotein preparations enriched with both these compounds. The dependence of the balance between the effects of tocopherol and hydroperoxides on the copper concentration indicates that the antioxidative effect of vitamin E increases with the oxidative stress. Copyright (C) 1999 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.
- Low density lipoprotein