In this study oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) induced by different Cu2+ concentrations was investigated. Lipid peroxidation was assessed by monitoring low-level chemiluminescence (LL-CL), conjugated diene hydroperoxide (CD) and α-tocopherol (TocOH), the major lipophilic antioxidant in LDL. At high Cu2+ concentration, LDL oxidation was characterised by CD formation, LL-CL emission and TocOH consumption. At low Cu2+ concentration, CD formation was independent of LL-CL and occurred in the presence of TocOH. Thus, two different mechanisms lead to lipid peroxide formation in LDL. The combination of CD assay and LL-CL monitoring makes it possible to distinguish the autocatalytic mechanism of CD formation and that associated with TocOH, found at a high and a low rate of initiation, respectively. Copyright (C) 1999 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.
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