Human low density lipoprotein (LDL) undergoes oxidation and glycation in vivo. By themselves, oxidized LDL (oxLDL) and AGE-LDL have proinflammatory properties and are considered atherogenic. But the atherogenicity of these lipoproteins are significantly increased as a consequence of the formation of immune complexes (IC) involving specific autoantibodies. OxLDL and AGE antibodies have been shown to be predominantly of the IgG1 and IgG3 isotypes. OxLDL antibodies are able to activate the complement system by the classical pathway and to induce FcR-mediated phagocytosis. In vitro and ex vivo studies performed with modified LDL-IC have proven their pro-inflammatory and atherogenic properties. Clinical studies have demonstrated that the levels of circulating modified LDL-IC correlate with parameters indicative of cardiovascular and renal disease in diabetic patients and other patient populations. The possibility that spontaneously formed or induced modified LDL antibodies (particularly IgM oxLDL antibodies) may have a protective effect has been suggested, but the data is unclear and needs to be further investigated. © 2009 Elsevier Inc.
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