Biological effects of oxysterols: current status.
ABSTRACT A review of relevant literature on biological activities of oxysterols (OS) and cholesterol is presented. The data clearly demonstrate manifold biological activities, often detrimental, for OS compared with little or no such activity of a deleterious nature for cholesterol itself. Cholesterol is perhaps the single most important compound in animal tissue and, as such, it is difficult to imagine it as a toxin or hazard. In contrast, OS exhibit cytotoxicity to a wide variety of cells leading to angiotoxic and atherogenic effects; alter vascular permeability to albumin; alter prostaglandin synthesis and stimulate platelet aggregation, an important process facilitating atherosclerosis and thrombosis; alter the functionality of low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors, possibly stimulating hypercholesterolaemia; modify cholesteryl ester accumulation in various cells, inducing foam cell formation; and enrich the LDL particle in cholesteryl esters, possibly increasing its atherogenicity. Furthermore, OS are mutagenic and carcinogenic, although some have been studied as antitumour agents based on their cytotoxic properties. Moreover, numerous studies have implicated OS in membrane and enzyme alterations that are interrelated with many of the foregoing effects. The authors find that OS deserve much more attention than cholesterol itself in terms of research activity but that unfortunately the reverse is true with regard to funding.
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ABSTRACT: Cells respond to alterations in their membrane structure by activating hydrolytic enzymes. Thus, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are liberated. Free PUFAs react with molecular oxygen to give lipid hydroperoxide molecules (LOOHs). In case of severe cell injury, this physiological reaction switches to the generation of lipid peroxide radicals (LOO.). These radicals can attack nearly all biomolecules such as lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, nucleic acids and enzymes, impairing their biological functions. Identical cell responses are triggered by manipulation of food, for example, heating/grilling and particularly homogenization, representing cell injury. Cholesterol as well as diets rich in saturated fat have been postulated to accelerate the risk of atherosclerosis while food rich in unsaturated fatty acids has been claimed to lower this risk. However, the fact is that LOO. radicals generated from PUFAs can oxidize cholesterol to toxic cholesterol oxides, simulating a reduction in cholesterol level. In this review it is shown how active LOO. radicals interact with biomolecules at a speed transcending usual molecule–molecule reactions by several orders of magnitude. Here, it is explained how functional groups are fundamentally transformed by an attack of LOO. with an obliteration of essential biomolecules leading to pathological conditions. A serious reconsideration of the health and diet guidelines is required.Chemistry - A European Journal 10/2014; · 5.93 Impact Factor
- Grasas y Aceites 12/2014; 65(4). · 0.74 Impact Factor
- Journal of Cuneiform Studies 36(1):81.