Macrophages would engulf circulating oxidized (ox)-low-density lipoprotein and form lipid droplet-laden foam cells. Macrophage foam cells are considered an important therapeutic target of atherosclerosis. The aim of the study was to investigate a hypoxic foam cell model for anti-Atherosclerotic drug screening using the chemical hypoxia-mimicking agent cobalt chloride (CoCl2). The oil red O stating results showed that treatment with CoCl2 could induce lipid accumulation and lead to cell transformation to spindle-shaped and lipid-rich foam cells in RAW 264.7 macrophages. Incubation with 150 μM CoCl2 for 24 h significantly increased the area of intracellular lipid droplets in macrophages, compared with the control group. Our findings indicate that CoCl2-Triggered macrophage foam cells should be a potential in vitro hypoxia model for atherosclerosis drug discovery.
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