Date Available


Year of Publication


Document Type



Graduate School


Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Reto Asmis


Macrophage death is likely to contribute to the transformation of fatty streaks into advanced atherosclerotic lesions. Previous work in the laboratory showed that OxLDL promotes cell death in human macrophages by a mechanism involving intracellular peroxide formation. Here we show that glutathione depletion induced by OxLDL occurs independent of peroxyl radical formation. Our data suggest that the depletion of glutathione is the fundamental defect that renders macrophages susceptible to OxLDL-induced cell injury, but alone is not sufficient to kill macrophages. We indicate that increased protein-Sglutathionylation is involved in OxLDL-induced macrophage death. A potentiation of OxLDL toxicity was observed in macrophages transfected with siRNA directed against either glutathione reductase or glutaredoxin. Our data suggests that OxLDL-induced cell injury in human macrophage is mediated by the depletion of GSH, a decreased in the GSH/GSSG ratio and peroxyl radical formation. All three signals are required for OxLDL-induced macrophage death. Our results also show that the glutathione reductase/glutaredoxin system protects macrophages from OxLDL-induced cell death.