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Br J Pharmacol. 2001 Aug;133(7):1005-12.

Direct effect of an acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase inhibitor, F-1394, on atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E and low density lipoprotein receptor double knockout mice.

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  • 1Central Research Laboratories, Fujirebio Incorporation, 51 Komiya-cho, Hachioji 192-0031, Tokyo, Japan.


The acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) enzyme is thought to be responsible for foam cell formation and the subsequent progression of atherosclerosis. The apolipoprotein E and low density lipoprotein receptor double knockout (apoE/LDLr-DKO) mouse is an animal model that develops severe hyperlipidaemia and atherosclerosis. Here we have examined the effect of oral administration of an ACAT inhibitor, F-1394, on atherosclerosis in apoE/LDLr-DKO mice fed a regular chow diet. In en face analysis, a dose of 10, 30, or 100 mg kg(-1) day(-1) F-1394 for 10 weeks reduced the extent of lesions visible in the aorta by 24, 28 and 38%, respectively, as detected by staining with oil red O, without affecting serum cholesterol level in these mice. At the highest dose 100 mg kg(-1) day(-1) of F-1394, the reduction was statistically significant. For quantitative analysis of the cellular and non-cellular components comprising the lesions at the aortic sinus, the effects of an oral dose of 100 mg kg(-1) day(-1) F-1394 for 15 weeks were studied. There was a significant reduction (31.9%) in the oil-red O-stained area in cross-sections of the aortic sinus. In addition, the neointimal area, as well as levels of ACAT-1 protein tended to be decreased (15.2 and 25.8%, respectively, not significant). However, the areas containing macrophages, smooth muscle cells, and collagen were not affected by F-1394. In vitro, F-1394 attenuated foam cell formation in mouse peritoneal macrophages. These results indicate that ACAT may be primarily responsible for lipid accumulation in atherosclerotic lesions, and that its inhibition diminishes the lipid deposition via a direct effect on macrophages in the arterial wall.

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