Leukemia cells display lower levels of intracellular cholesterol irrespective of the exogenous cholesterol availability

Hina Usman, Fatima Ameer, Rimsha Munir, Areeb Iqbal, Muhammad Zaid, Shahida Hasnain, Lisa Scandiuzzi, Nousheen Zaidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Different types of cancer cells are previously shown to accumulate intracellular cholesterol. However, the data on intracellular cholesterol levels in leukemia cells provide contradictory evidence. Various previous works indicate either increase, decrease or no difference in total cholesterol levels between leukemia cells and healthy peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Methods: We studied the intracellular cholesterol levels in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) cells and compared with that in PBMCs from the healthy subjects. Results: We observed that the PBMCs from AML (n = 7) and ALL (n = 7) patients displayed significantly lower intracellular levels of total cholesterol in comparison to PBMCs from the healthy subjects (n = 26). Consistent with the patient data the ALL (CCRF-CEM and MOLT-3) and AML (KG-1 and THP-1) cell lines also displayed significantly lower intracellular levels of total cholesterol. We confirmed this observation using multiple methodological approaches. Both ALL and AML cell lines also displayed significantly lower levels of free cholesterol and cholesteryl ester contents in comparison to normal hematopoietic cells. We observed that >. 90% of the total cholesterol in leukemia cells as well as in normal PBMCs was present in the form of cholesteryl esters. It was also observed that the lower levels of cholesterol in leukemia cells are not affected by exogenous cholesterol availability. Conclusions: Present study provides convincing evidence to prove that the cellular free cholesterol and cholesteryl ester content is significantly reduced in leukemia cells in comparison to normal hematopoietic cells in circulation. Moreover, it was shown that the lower levels of cholesterol in leukemia cells are not affected by exogenous cholesterol availability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-17
Number of pages6
JournalClinica Chimica Acta
Volume457
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Cholesterol
  • HDL-C
  • LDL-C
  • Leukemia
  • Lipids
  • Metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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