Faculty Research 1990 - 1999


Cholesteryl ester transfer protein corrects dysfunctional high density lipoproteins and reduces aortic atherosclerosis in lecithin cholesterol acyltransferase transgenic mice.

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Aortic-Diseases, Atherosclerosis, Carrier-Proteins, Cholesterol-Esters, Female, Human, Lipoproteins-HDL, Mice, Mice-Inbred-C57BL, Mice-Transgenic, Sterol-O-Acyltransferase, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S

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J Biol Chem 1999 Dec; 274(52):36912-20.




Expression of human lecithin cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) in mice (LCAT-Tg) leads to increased high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels but paradoxically, enhanced atherosclerosis. We have hypothesized that the absence of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) in LCAT-Tg mice facilitates the accumulation of dysfunctional HDL leading to impaired reverse cholesterol transport and the development of a pro-atherogenic state. To test this hypothesis we cross-bred LCAT-Tg with CETP-Tg mice. On both regular chow and high fat, high cholesterol diets, expression of CETP in LCAT-Tg mice reduced total cholesterol (-39% and -13%, respectively; p < 0.05), reflecting a decrease in HDL cholesterol levels. CETP normalized both the plasma clearance of [(3)H]cholesteryl esters ([(3)H]CE) from HDL (fractional catabolic rate in days(-1): LCAT-Tg = 3.7 +/- 0.34, LCATxCETP-Tg = 6.1 +/- 0.16, and controls = 6.4 +/- 0.16) as well as the liver uptake of [(3)H]CE from HDL (LCAT-Tg = 36%, LCATxCETP-Tg = 65%, and controls = 63%) in LCAT-Tg mice. On the pro-atherogenic diet the mean aortic lesion area was reduced by 41% in LCATxCETP-Tg (21.2 +/- 2.0 micrometer(2) x 10(3)) compared with LCAT-Tg mice (35.7 +/- 2.0 micrometer(2) x 10(3); p < 0.001). Adenovirus-mediated expression of scavenger receptor class B (SR-BI) failed to normalize the plasma clearance and liver uptake of [(3)H]CE from LCAT-Tg HDL. Thus, the ability of SR-BI to facilitate the selective uptake of CE from LCAT-Tg HDL is impaired, indicating a potential mechanism leading to impaired reverse cholesterol transport and atherosclerosis in these animals. We conclude that CETP expression reduces atherosclerosis in LCAT-Tg mice by restoring the functional properties of LCAT-Tg mouse HDL and promoting the hepatic uptake of HDL-CE. These findings provide definitive in vivo evidence supporting the proposed anti-atherogenic role of CETP in facilitating HDL-mediated reverse cholesterol transport and demonstrate that CETP expression is beneficial in pro-atherogenic states that result from impaired reverse cholesterol transport.

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