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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2006 Nov;26(11):2552-9. Epub 2006 Aug 31.

Cholesteryl ester transfer protein decreases high-density lipoprotein and severely aggravates atherosclerosis in APOE*3-Leiden mice.

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1
Department of Biomedical Research, Gaubius Laboratory, CE Leiden, The Netherlands. M.Westerterp@lumc.nl

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The role of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) in the development of atherosclerosis is still undergoing debate. Therefore, we evaluated the effect of human CETP expression on atherosclerosis in APOE*3-Leiden (E3L) mice with a humanized lipoprotein profile.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

E3L mice were crossbred with human CETP transgenic mice. On a chow diet, CETP expression increased plasma total cholesterol (TC) (+43%; P<0.05). To evaluate the effects of CETP on the development of atherosclerosis, mice were fed a Western-type diet containing 0.25% cholesterol, leading to 4.3-fold elevated TC levels in both E3L and CETP.E3L mice (P<0.01). On both diets, CETP expression shifted the distribution of cholesterol from high-density lipoprotein (HDL) toward very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)/low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Moreover, plasma of CETP.E3L mice had reduced capacity (-39%; P<0.05) to induce SR-BI-mediated cholesterol efflux from Fu5AH cells than plasma of E3L mice. After 19 weeks on the Western-type diet, CETP.E3L mice showed a 7.0-fold increased atherosclerotic lesion area in the aortic root compared with E3L mice (P<0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS:

CETP expression in E3L mice shifts the distribution of cholesterol from HDL to VLDL/LDL, reduces plasma-mediated SR-BI-dependent cholesterol efflux, and represents a clear pro-atherogenic factor in E3L mice. We anticipate that the CETP.E3L mouse will be a valuable model for the preclinical evaluation of HDL-raising interventions on atherosclerosis development.

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