Nuclear receptor mediated mechanisms of macrophage cholesterol metabolism

Zsuzsanna S. Nagy, Zsolt Czimmerer, Laszlo Nagy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Macrophages comprise a family of multi-faceted phagocytic effector cells that differentiate ". in situ" from circulating monocytes to exert various functions including clearance of foreign pathogens as well as debris derived from host cells. Macrophages also possess the ability to engulf and metabolize lipids and this way connect lipid metabolism and inflammation. The molecular link between these processes is provided by certain members of the nuclear receptor family. For instance, peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPAR) and liver X receptors (LXR) are able to sense the dynamically changing lipid environment and translate it to gene expression changes in order to modulate the cellular phenotype. Atherosclerosis embodies both sides of this coin: it is a disease in which macrophages with altered cholesterol metabolism keep the arteries in a chronically inflamed state. A large body of publications has accumulated during the past few decades describing the role of nuclear receptors in the regulation of macrophage cholesterol homeostasis, their contribution to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques and their crosstalk with inflammatory pathways. This review will summarize the most recent findings from this field narrowly focusing on the contribution of various nuclear receptors to macrophage cholesterol metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-98
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 10 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cholesterol
  • Macrophage
  • Metabolism
  • Nuclear receptor
  • Transcriptional regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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