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J Biol Chem. 2002 Aug 30;277(35):31850-6. Epub 2002 Jun 24.

Phospholipid transfer protein deficiency protects circulating lipoproteins from oxidation due to the enhanced accumulation of vitamin E.

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  • 1Downstate Medical Center, State University of New York, New York, New York 11203, USA.


Vitamin E is a lipophilic anti-oxidant that can prevent the oxidative damage of atherogenic lipoproteins. However, human trials with vitamin E have been disappointing, perhaps related to ineffective levels of vitamin E in atherogenic apoB-containing lipoproteins. Phospholipid transfer protein (PLTP) promotes vitamin E removal from atherogenic lipoproteins in vitro, and PLTP deficiency has recently been recognized as an anti-atherogenic state. To determine whether PLTP regulates lipoprotein vitamin E content in vivo, we measured alpha-tocopherol content and oxidation parameters of lipoproteins from PLTP-deficient mice in wild type, apoE-deficient, low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor-deficient, or apoB/cholesteryl ester transfer protein transgenic backgrounds. In all four backgrounds, the vitamin E content of very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) and/or LDL was significantly increased in PLTP-deficient mice, compared with controls with normal plasma PLTP activity. Moreover, PLTP deficiency produced a dramatic delay in generation of conjugated dienes in oxidized apoB-containing lipoproteins as well as markedly lower titers of plasma IgG autoantibodies to oxidized LDL. The addition of purified PLTP to deficient plasma lowered the vitamin E content of VLDL plus LDL and normalized the generation of conjugated dienes. The data show that PLTP regulates the bioavailability of vitamin E in atherogenic lipoproteins and suggest a novel strategy for achieving more effective concentrations of anti-oxidants in lipoproteins, independent of dietary supplementation.

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