Apolipoprotein (apo) E inhibits the capacity of monosodium urate crystals to stimulate neutrophils. Characterization of intraarticular apo E and demonstration of apo E binding to urate crystals in vivo
Factors that modulate the ability of monosodium urate crystals to stimulate leukocytes could regulate gouty inflammation. Lipoproteins that bear apo B-100 and apo E bind to urate crystals and suppress crystal-neutrophil interaction. In this study, we observed that urate crystals, coated with apo E of monocyte origin, had a diminished ability to stimulate neutrophils. Apo E was also detected on the surface of urate crystals recovered from gout patients. Thus, we analyzed apo E in noninflammatory synovial fluid, and found it to be associated with particles of heterogeneous size and of predominantly alpha and pre-beta electrophoretic mobility. Local articular synthesis of at least a portion of synovial fluid apo E was suggested because (a) the synovial fluid/plasma concentration ratio of apo E was significantly higher than that for both apo B and apo A-I, which are not widely synthesized by extrahepatic tissues, (b) cultured rheumatoid synovial cells in first passage secreted apo E, (c) a portion of synovial fluid apo E was heavily sialylated. We conclude that synovial fluids contain apo E that appears partly of local origin. Apo E binds to urate crystals and could modulate gouty inflammation.