OBJECTIVE: In the reverse cholesterol transport pathway, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) passes the endothelial cell barrier by mechanisms involving the scavenger receptor class B type I and the ATP-binding cassette G1. However, little is known on how inflammation influences this transendothelial transport.
APPROACH AND RESULTS: On stimulation with interleukin-6, cultivated primary endothelial cells showed increased binding and transport of (125)I-HDL without changing the expression of scavenger receptor class B type I and ATP-binding cassette G1. Therefore, we analyzed the involvement of endothelial lipase (EL), a known HDL-binding protein expressed by endothelial cells. Here, we show an increased EL expression after interleukin-6 stimulation. Moreover, using pharmacological inhibitors or RNA interference against EL, we demonstrated its participation in HDL binding and transport through the endothelium. Furthermore, adenovirus-mediated transfection of endothelial cells with either catalytically active or nonactive EL revealed that EL facilitates the endothelial binding and transport by both bridging and lipolysis of HDL. EL was also found responsible for the reduction of HDL particle size occurring during the specific transport through a monolayer of endothelial cells. Finally, pharmacological inhibition of EL reversed the inducing effect of interleukin-6 on HDL binding and transport.
CONCLUSIONS: Interleukin-6 stimulates the translocation of HDL through the endothelium, the first step in reverse cholesterol transport pathway, by enhancing EL expression. In addition, we demonstrated the role of EL in the transendothelial transport of HDL.