Lipoprotein classes isolated from the plasma of two patients with apolipoprotein AI (apo AI) and apolipoprotein CIII (apo CIII) deficiency were characterized and compared with those of healthy, age- and sex-matched controls. The plasma triglyceride values for patients 1 and 2 were 31 and 51 mg/dl, respectively, and their cholesterol values were 130 and 122 mg/dl, respectively; the patients, however, had no measurable high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol. Analytic ultracentrifugation showed that patients' S degrees f 0-20 lipoproteins possess a single peak with S degrees f rates of 7.4 and 7.6 for patients 1 and 2, respectively, which is similar to that of the controls. The concentration of low density lipoprotein (LDL) (S degrees f 0-12) particles, although within normal range (331 and 343 mg/dl for patients 1 and 2, respectively), was 35% greater than that of controls. Intermediate density lipoproteins (IDL) and very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) (S degrees f 20-400) were extremely low in the patients. HDL in the patients had a calculated mass of 15.4 and 11.8 mg/dl for patients 1 and 2, respectively. No HDL could be detected by analytic ultracentrifugation, but polyacrylamide gradient gel electrophoresis (gge) revealed that patients possessed two major HDL subclasses: (HDL2b)gge at 11.0 nm and (HDL3b)gge at 7.8 nm. The major peak in the controls, (HDL3a)gge, was lacking in the patients. Gradient gel analysis of LDL indicated that patients' LDL possessed two peaks: a major one at 27 nm and a minor one at 26 nm. The electron microscopic structure of patients' lipoprotein fractions was indistinguishable from controls. Patients' HDL were spherical and contained a cholesteryl ester core, which suggests that lecithin/cholesterol acyltransferase was functional in the absence of apo AI. The effects of postprandial lipemia (100-g fat meal) were studied in patient 1. The major changes were the appearance of a 33-nm particle in the LDL density region of 1.036-1.041 g/ml and the presence of discoidal particles (12% of total particles) in the HDL region. The latter suggests that transformation of discs to spheres may be delayed in the patient. The simultaneous deficiency of apo AI and apo CIII suggests a dual defect in lipoprotein metabolism: one in triglyceride-rich lipoproteins and the other in HDL. The absence of apo CIII may result in accelerated catabolism of triglyceride-rich particles and an increased rate of LDL formation. Additionally, absence of apo CIII would favor rapid uptake of apo E-containing remnants by liver and peripheral cells. Excess cellular cholesterol would not be removed by the reverse cholesterol transport mechanism since HDL levels are exceedingly low and thus premature atherosclerosis occurs.
T M Forte, A V Nichols, R M Krauss, R A Norum