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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Feb 24;340(4):1078-84. Epub 2005 Dec 27.

Dietary cholesterol and differential monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 gene expression in aorta and liver of apo E-deficient mice.

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  • 1Centre de Recerca Biomèdica, Institut de Recerca en Ciències de la Salut (IRCIS), Hospital Universitari de Sant Joan, Calle Sant Joan s/n, 43201-Reus, Spain.


In humans, hypercholesterolemia, steatohepatitis, and risk for arteriosclerosis are associated. Apolipoprotein E-deficient mice, a widely used animal model, show both arteriosclerosis and steatohepatitis in response to high-fat and cholesterol diets. We have found a relationship between these conditions and a higher mRNA aortic and hepatic monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (mcp-1) gene expression. Both tissues respond in a similar way when dietary cholesterol is provided for a few weeks but differently if the conditions persist for a protracted period of time. After 8 months of treatment, the mcp-1 gene expression in the aorta continues increasing but in the liver decreases. This coincides with a significant increase in hepatic ppar-delta anti-inflammatory gene expression. Apparently, the arterial wall cannot prevent the deleterious effects of higher mcp-1 expression by increasing ppar-delta gene expression and the lesion progress. However, in the liver, the activation of anti-inflammatory genes may reduce the hepatic mcp-1 expression which significantly decreases the inflammatory response. This differential inflammatory gene expression in aorta and liver may support the idea that anti-inflammatory transcription factors are involved in the response to diet and inflammation. Therefore, the use of cholesterol-enriched diets should be carefully considered in the apolipoprotein E-deficient mice because they may trigger different stimuli and seriously hinder the interpretation of possible findings.

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