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Why Is Very High Cholesterol Content Beneficial for the Eye Lens but Negative for Other Organs? Nutrients 2019 May 15;11(5)

Date

05/18/2019

Pubmed ID

31096723

Pubmed Central ID

PMC6566707

DOI

10.3390/nu11051083

Abstract

The plasma membranes of the human lens fiber cell are overloaded with cholesterol that not only saturates the phospholipid bilayer of these membranes but also leads to the formation of pure cholesterol bilayer domains. Cholesterol level increases with age, and for older persons, it exceeds the cholesterol solubility threshold, leading to the formation of cholesterol crystals. All these changes occur in the normal lens without too much compromise to lens transparency. If the cholesterol content in the cell membranes of other organs increases to extent where cholesterol crystals forma, a pathological condition begins. In arterial cells, minute cholesterol crystals activate inflammasomes, induce inflammation, and cause atherosclerosis development. In this review, we will indicate possible factors that distinguish between beneficial and negative cholesterol action, limiting cholesterol actions to those performed through cholesterol in cell membranes and by cholesterol crystals.

Author List

Widomska J, Subczynski WK

Author

Witold K. Subczynski PhD Professor in the Biophysics department at Medical College of Wisconsin




MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Animals
Cholesterol, Dietary
Humans
Hypercholesterolemia
Lens, Crystalline