Browsing by Author "Badeau, Robert"

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  • Badeau, Robert (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    Reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) is an important function of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) in the protection of atherosclerosis. RCT is the process by which HDL stimulates cholesterol removal from peripheral cells and transports it to the liver for excretion. Premenopausal women have a reduced risk for atherosclerosis compared to age-matched men and there exists a positive correlation for serum 17β-estradiol (E2) and HDL levels in premenopausal women supporting the role of E2 in atherosclerosis prevention. In premenopausal women, E2 associates with HDL as E2 fatty acyl esters. Discovery of the cellular targets, metabolism, and assessment of the macrophage cholesterol efflux potential of these HDL-associated E2 fatty acyl esters were the major objectives of this thesis (study I, III, and IV). Soy phytoestrogens, which are related to E2 in both structure and function, have been proposed to be protective against atherosclerosis but the evidence to support these claims is conflicting. Therefore, another objective of this thesis was to assess the ability of serum from postmenopausal women, treated with isoflavone supplements (compared to placebo), to promote macrophage cholesterol efflux (study II). The scope of this thesis was to cover the roles that HDL-associated E2 fatty acyl esters have in the cellular aspects of RCT and to determine if soy isoflavones can also influence RCT mechanisms. SR-BI was a pivotal cellular receptor, responsible for hepatic and macrophage uptake and macrophage cholesterol efflux potential of HDL-associated E2 fatty acyl esters. Functional SR-BI was also critical for proper LCAT esterification activity which could impact HDL-associated E2 fatty acyl ester assembly and its function. In hepatic cells, LDL receptors also contributed to HDL-associated E2 fatty acyl esters uptake and in macrophage cells, estrogen receptors (ERs) were necessary for both HDL-associated E2 ester-specific uptake and cholesterol efflux potential. HDL-containing E2 fatty acyl esters (E2-FAE) stimulated enhanced cholesterol efflux compared to male HDL (which are deficient in E2) demonstrating the importance of the E2 ester in this process. To support this, premenopausal female HDL, which naturally contains E2, showed greater macrophage cholesterol efflux compared to males. Additionally, hepatic and macrophage cells hydrolyzed the HDL-associated E2 fatty acyl ester into unesterified E2. This could have important biological ramifications because E2, not the esterified form, has potent cellular effects which may influence RCT mechanisms. Lastly, soy isoflavone supplementation in postmenopausal women did not modulate ABCA1-specific macrophage cholesterol efflux but did increase production of plasma pre-β HDL levels, a subclass of HDL. Therefore, the impact of isoflavones on RCT and cardiovascular health needs to be further investigated. Taken as a whole, HDL-associated E2 fatty acyl esters from premenopausal women and soy phytoestrogen treatment in postmenopausal women may be important factors that increase the efficiency of RCT through cellular lipoprotein-related processes and may have direct implications on the cardiovascular health of women.