Primed polymorphonuclear leukocytes constitute a possible link between inflammation and oxidative stress in hyperlipidemic patients

Rafi Mazor, Revital Shurtz-Swirski, Raymond Farah, Batya Kristal, Galina Shapiro, Faina Dorlechter, Meital Cohen-Mazor, Edna Meilin, Snitkovski Tamara, Shifra Sela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Background: Oxidative stress (OS) and chronic inflammation are involved and contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. Primed polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNLs) are a possible source for superoxide radicals and inflammatory mediators, hence can promote OS and inflammation. The involvement of primed PMNLs in clinical states associated with high risk for developing cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis, such as hypertension, renal failure and diabetes has been described, however, little is known about PMNLs characteristics in hyperlipidemic patients. Methods: Hyperlipidemic patients and healthy control (HC) subjects were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. PMNL priming was estimated by measuring the rate of superoxide release and by levels of membrane CD11b. PMNL priming and myeloperoxidase (MPO) levels served as OS indices. Inflammation was linked to peripheral white blood cells and PMNL counts and to apoptosis. Systemic inflammation was estimated by blood levels of fibrinogen, C-reactive protein (CRP), transferrin and albumin. PMNL priming and inflammation parameters were related to the severity of hyperlipidemia. Results: PMNLs from hyperlipidemic patients are primed compared to HC. A decrease in PMNL-MPO levels with increased levels of serum MPO were found in hyperlipidemic patients. Leukocyte counts tended to be higher in hyperlipidemic patients with increased PMNL apoptosis. PMNL priming and fibrinogen levels correlated positively with the severity of hyperlipidemia (r = 0.32, P = 0.02 for CD11b vs. cholesterol and r = 0.38, P = 0.009 for CD11b vs. LDL-c; r = 0.35, P = 0.01 for fibrinogen vs. cholesterol and r = 0.3, P = 0.03 for superoxide release vs. LDL-c). Conclusion: PMNLs are primed in hyperlipidemic patients contributing to OS and inflammation in these patients. This study highlights primed PMNLs as an additional risk factor for promoting atherosclerosis in hyperlipidemic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-943
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Inflammation
  • Myeloperoxidase
  • Oxidative stress
  • PMNL priming


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