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J Biol Chem. 1997 Dec 26;272(52):33360-6.

Estrogen up-regulates apolipoprotein E (ApoE) gene expression by increasing ApoE mRNA in the translating pool via the estrogen receptor alpha-mediated pathway.

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  • 1Division of Atherosclerosis, Nutrition and Lipid Research, Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA. asrivast@imgate.wustl.edu

Abstract

The antiatherogenic property of estrogens is mediated via at least two mechanisms: first by affecting plasma lipoprotein profiles, and second by affecting the components of the vessel wall. Raising plasma apolipoprotein E (apoE) in mice protects them against diet-induced atherosclerosis (Shimano, H., Yamada, N., Katsuki, M., Gotoda, T., Harada, K., Murase, T., Fukuzawa, C., Takaku, F., and Yazaka, Y. (1992) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 89, 1750-1754). It is possible that estrogen may be antiatherogenic at least in part by increasing plasma apoE levels. Therefore, we studied the regulation of apoE by estrogen. A survey of 15 inbred strains of mice showed that some mouse strains responded to injections or subcutaneously implanted pellets of estradiol by raising their apoB and apoE levels and some did not. We performed detailed studies in two "responder" strains, C57L and C57BL, and two "non-responder" strains, C3H and BALBc. Responders increased their plasma apoE levels 2.5-fold. Non-responders' levels were altered +/-10%. In the responders the distribution of apoE among the plasma lipoproteins shifted from high density lipoprotein toward the apoB-containing lipoprotein fractions. In nonresponders the shift was toward high density lipoprotein. Hepatic apoE mRNA levels and relative rates of apoE mRNA transcription were unchanged in all strains, suggesting that apoE regulation occurred at posttranscriptional loci. Therefore, we measured apoE synthesis in fresh liver slices and on isolated hepatic polysomes. Two-fold increases were noted but only in responders accompanied by selective 1.5-fold increases in polysomal apoE mRNA levels. Similar increases in apoE synthesis were also observed in castrated C57BL mice given either physiological or pharmacological replacement doses of estradiol, but not testosterone, suggesting that the effect of estradiol was specific on the distribution of apoE mRNA in the translationally active polysomal pool. Next, we examined whether the effects of estrogen on apoE translation were mediated by estrogen receptors (ER). ER-alpha knock-out mice and their wild-type littermates were administered estradiol. As expected, apoE levels and hepatic apoE synthesis increased more than 2-fold in the wild-type littermates, but only 20% increases in the plasma apoE and hepatic synthesis were observed in the ER knock-out mice. Hepatic apoE mRNA levels did not change in either the wild-type or the ER knock-out mice. Thus, estradiol up-regulates apoE gene expression by increasing levels of apoE mRNA in the polysomal translating pool. Furthermore, the increased polysomal recruitment of apoE mRNA is largely mediated by estrogen receptors.

PMID:
9407129
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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