The differentiation of macrophages into cytokine-secreting foam cells plays a critical role in the development of diabetic angiopathy. J774.1, a murine macrophage cell line, reportedly differentiates into foam cells when incubated with oxidized LDL, ApoE-rich VLDL or WHHLMI (myocardial infarction-prone Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic) rabbit serum. In this study, serum samples from Type 2 diabetic patients were added to the medium with J774.1 cells and the degree of foam cell induction was quantified by measuring lipid accumulation. These values were calculated relative to the activities of normal and WHHLMI rabbit sera as 0% and 100%, respectively, and termed the MMI (Macrophage Maturation Index). These MMI values reflected intracellular lipids, including cholesteryl ester assayed by GC/MS. Statistical analysis revealed MMI to correlate positively and independently with serum triglycerides, the state of diabetic retinopathy, nephropathy and obesity, but negatively with administration of α-glucosidase inhibitors or thiazolidinediones. Taken together, our results suggest that this novel assay may be applicable to the identification of patients at risk for rapidly progressive angiopathic disorders.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism