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J Lipid Res. 2011 Aug;52(8):1533-41. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M016659. Epub 2011 May 23.

CETP expression reverses the reconstituted HDL-induced increase in VLDL.

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Department of General Internal Medicine, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Human data suggest that reconstituted HDL (rHDL) infusion can induce atherosclerosis regression. Studies in mice indicated that rHDL infusion adversely affects VLDL levels, but this effect is less apparent in humans. This discrepancy may be explained by the fact that humans, in contrast to mice, express cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP). The aim of this study was to investigate the role of CETP in the effects of rHDL on VLDL metabolism by using APOE*3-Leiden (E3L) mice, a well-established model for human-like lipoprotein metabolism. At 1 h after injection, rHDL increased plasma VLDL-C and TG in E3L mice, but not in E3L mice cross-bred onto a human CETP background (E3L.CETP mice). This initial raise in VLDL, caused by competition between rHDL and VLDL for LPL-mediated TG hydrolysis, was thus prevented by CETP. At 24 h after injection, rHDL caused a second increase in VLDL-C and TG in E3L mice, whereas rHDL had even decreased VLDL in E3L.CETP mice. This secondary raise in VLDL was due to increased hepatic VLDL-TG production. Collectively, we conclude that CETP protects against the rHDL-induced increase in VLDL. We anticipate that studies evaluating the anti-atherosclerotic efficacy of rHDL in mice that are naturally deficient for CETP should be interpreted with caution, and that treatment of atherogenic dyslipidemia by rHDL should not be combined with agents that aggressively reduce CETP activity.

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