ApoA-I deficiency causes both hypertriglyceridemia and increased atherosclerosis in human apoB transgenic mice

E Voyiaziakis, I J Goldberg, A S Plump, E M Rubin, J L Breslow, L S Huang
Journal of Lipid Research 1998, 39 (2): 313-21
To study the role of low levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) and apolipoprotein (apo) A-I in atherosclerosis risk, human apoB transgenic mice (HuBTg) were crossed with apoA-I-deficient (apoA-I-/-) mice. After a high fat challenge, total cholesterol levels increased drastically due to an increase in the non-HDL cholesterol as confirmed by FPLC analysis. In addition, total cholesterol levels in A-I-/- HuBTg mice were lower than the control HuBTg mice, due mainly to decreased HDL-C in A-I-/- HuBTg mice. Analysis of atherosclerosis in the proximal aorta in mice fed a high-fat Western-type diet for 27 weeks revealed a 200% greater lesion area in female apoA-I-/- HuBTg mice (49740+/-9751 microm2) compared to control HuBTg mice (23320+/-4981 microm2, P = 0.03). Lesion size (12380+/-3281 microm2) in male A-I-/- HuBTg mice was also about 200% greater than that in the control HuBTg mice (5849+/-1543 microm2), although not statistically significant. Very few and small lesions were observed in both apoA-I-/- HuBTg and control HuBTg animals fed a chow diet. Therefore, the adverse effect of low HDL on atherosclerosis in mice was only evident when LDL-cholesterol was markedly elevated by high-fat challenge. Male apoA-I-/- HuBTg mice exhibited hypertriglyceridemia when challenged with a high-fat diet. This correlated with both a reduction in lipoprotein lipase activity and a decrease in lipoprotein lipase activation by HDL. In summary, low high density lipoprotein levels due to apolipoprotein A-I deficiency exacerbated the development of atherosclerotic lesions in mice with elevated atherogenic lipoproteins. This mouse model mimics human conditions associated with low HDL levels and provides additional evidence for the anti-atherogenic role of apoA-I.

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