Type 2 diabetes is associated with an increased incidence of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular complications. One crucial step in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis is the unregulated uptake of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) by vascular wall components through scavenger receptors. Identification of lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 (LOX-1) as the major receptor for oxLDL in endothelial cells has provided a new clue to the mechanisms involved in oxLDL accumulation in the vessel wall. This receptor, by facilitating the uptake of oxLDL, induces endothelial dysfunction and mediates numerous oxLDL-induced proatherogenic effects. Besides endothelial cells, LOX-1 is also expressed by smooth muscle cells and macrophages. In these cells, LOX- 1 may function as a scavenger receptor and promote foam cell formation. Notably, LOX-1 is induced by multiple stimuli relevant to atherogenesis and inflammation and is up-regulated in various proatherogenic conditions, including diabetes. As such, activation of vascular cells by oxLDL through LOX-1 may be relevant to the development and progression of human diabetic vasculopathy. This review summarizes recent advances related to the role of LOX-1 in atherosclerosis, its regulation by metabolic and inflammatory factors relevant to diabetes and the impact of these factors on LOX-1-mediated proatherogenic events linked to diabetic vasculopathy.
Keywords: Lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 (LOX-1), Diabetes, Endothelial dysfunction, Inflammation, Hyperglycemia, Fatty acids
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