We have reported that transgenic mice overexpressing rat apo E shows marked reduction of plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels due to the disappearance of VLDL and LDL. In this study, we investigated the metabolism of plasma lipoproteins in transgenic mice. After intravenous injection, the rates of clearance of 125I-VLDL and 125I-LDL were 3.0- and 2.4-fold greater in transgenic mice than in controls, respectively. Furthermore, clearance of chylomicron remnants estimated by oral retinyl palmitate-loading test was markedly enhanced in transgenic mice. The hepatic expression of LDL receptors by immunoblot analysis was similar in both groups. These data suggest that elimination of lipoproteins containing apo B was due to enhanced clearance of these lipoproteins enriched with apo E through hepatic LDL receptors. When fed a high cholesterol diet, controls showed twofold elevation of plasma cholesterol levels with marked increases in VLDL and LDL cholesterol on gel filtration chromatography. In contrast, cholesterol-fed transgenic mice showed resistance against these increases. High cholesterol feeding decreased the activity of hepatic LDL receptors and had no effect on enhancement of chylomicron remnant clearance in transgenic mice. Thus, overexpression of apo E facilitates metabolism of lipoproteins containing apo B presumably primarily via the LDL receptor pathway and possibly through an interaction with the chylomicron remnant receptor.
H Shimano, N Yamada, M Katsuki, K Yamamoto, T Gotoda, K Harada, M Shimada, Y Yazaki