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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2010 Apr;30(4):796-801. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.109.199158. Epub 2010 Jan 14.

The ability to promote efflux via ABCA1 determines the capacity of serum specimens with similar high-density lipoprotein cholesterol to remove cholesterol from macrophages.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 3615 Civic Center Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.



We measured efflux from macrophages to apolipoprotein B-depleted serum from 263 specimens and found instances in which serum having similar high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) differed in their efflux capacity. Thus, we wanted to elucidate why efflux capacity could be independent of total HDL-C or apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I).


To understand why sera with similar HDL-C or apoA-I could differ in total efflux capacity, we assessed their ability to promote efflux via the pathways expressed in cAMP-treated J774 macrophages. Briefly, macrophages were preincubated with probucol to block ABCA1, with BLT-1 to block SR-BI, and with both inhibitors to measure residual efflux. ABCG1 efflux was measured with transfected BHK-1 cells. We used apolipoprotein B-depleted serum from specimens with similar HDL-C values at the 25(th) and 75(th) percentiles. Specimens in each group were classified as having high or low efflux based on total efflux being above or below the group average. We found that independently of HDL-C, sera with higher efflux capacity had a significant increase in ABCA1-mediated efflux, which was significantly correlated to the concentration of pre beta-1 HDL. The same result was obtained when these sera were similarly analyzed based on similar apoA-I.


Sera with similar HDL-C or apoA-I differ in their ability to promote macrophage efflux because of differences in the concentration of pre beta-1 HDL.

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