Indexed on: 23 Jul '05Published on: 23 Jul '05Published in: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
The immunogenicity of modified low-density lipoprotein (mLDL) has been demonstrated both in laboratory animals and humans. Circulating human mLDL antibodies, purified by affinity chromatography, are predominantly of the IgG isotype, subclasses 1 and 3. The purified antibodies react with malondialdehyde-lysine and carboxymethyl-lysine epitopes, but also recognize minimally modified forms of LDL that do not contain significant amounts of those two epitopes. The quantitative assays of mLDL and mLDL antibodies in serum samples by enzymoimmunoassay (EIA) are unreliable owing to the interference of preformed circulating immune complexes (CICs). Isolation of CICs by precipitation with low concentrations of polyethylene glycol followed by analysis of antigens and antibodies contained in the precipitates is a technically complex approach, but one that yields valuable data. With this approach we have confirmed that the IgG antibodies involved in IC formation belong to the proinflammatory IgG1 and IgG3 isotypes, have a higher avidity than those that remain unbound in the supernatant after CIC precipitation, and are of higher avidity in diabetic patients with macroalbuminuria than in those with normal albuminuria. We have also developed capture assays for different forms of mLDL. These assays have shown a significant enrichment in mLDL of the precipitated ICs. The enrichment is also more pronounced in the CICs obtained from diabetic patients with macroalbuminuria. In conclusion, isolation and characterization of LDL-ICs appears to yield information of significant value that is not derived from other approaches to measure LDL modifications and their corresponding antibodies in humans.