Inflammation marks all stages of atherogenesis. DNA hypermethylation in whole genome or specific genes is associated with inflammation and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, we aim to study whether inhibiting DNA methylation by DNA methyltransferase inhibitor 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC) ameliorates atherosclerosis in low density lipoprotein receptor knockout (Ldlr-/-) mice. Ldlr-/- mice were fed an atherogenic diet and administrated with saline or 5-aza-dC (0.25mg/kg) for up to 30 weeks. 5-aza-dC treatment markedly decreased atherosclerosis development in Ldlr-/- mice without changes in body weight, plasma lipid profile, macrophage cholesterol levels and plaque lipid content. Instead, this effect was associated with decreased macrophage inflammation. Macrophages with 5-aza-dC treatment had down-regulated expression of genes involved in inflammation (tumor necrosis factor ?, interleukin 6, interleukin 1? and inducible nitric oxidase) and chemotaxis (CD62/L-Selectin, chemokine C-C motif ligand 2/MCP-1 (CCL2/MCP-1), CCL5, CCL9, and CCL2 receptor CCR2). This resulted in attenuated macrophage migration and adhesion to endothelial cells and reduced macrophage infiltration into atherosclerotic plaques. 5-aza-dC also suppressed macrophage endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, a key upstream signal that activates macrophage inflammation and apoptotic pathways. Finally, 5-aza-dC demethylated liver X receptor ? (LXR?) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ?1 (PPAR?1) promoters, which are both enriched with CpG sites. This led to over-expression of LXR? and PPAR?, which may be responsible for 5-aza-dC's anti-inflammatory and atheroprotective effect. Our findings provide strong evidence that DNA methylation may play a significant role in cardiovascular diseases and serve as a therapeutic target for prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis.
The role of growth hormone (GH) and its therapeutic supplementation in the trichorhinophalangeal syndrome type I (TRPS I) is not well delineated. TRPS I is a rare congenital syndrome, characterized by craniofacial and skeletal malformations including short stature, sparse, thin scalp hair and lateral eyebrows, pear-shaped nose, cone shaped epiphyses and hip dysplasia. It is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner and caused by haploinsufficiency of the TRPS1 gene. We report a family (Mother and 3 of her 4 children) with a novel mutation in the TRPS1 gene. The diagnosis was suspected only after meeting all family members and comparing affected and unaffected siblings since the features of this syndrome might be subtle. The eldest sibling, who had neither GH deficiency nor insensitivity, improved his growth velocity and height SDS after 2 years of treatment with exogenous GH. No change in growth velocity was observed in the untreated siblings during this same period. This report emphasizes the importance of examining all family members when suspecting a genetic syndrome. It also demonstrates the therapeutic effect of GH treatment in TRPS I despite normal GH-IGF1 axis. A review of the literature is included to address whether TRPS I is associated with: a) GH deficiency, b) GH resistance, or c) GH-responsive short stature. More studies are needed before recommending GH treatment for TRPS I but a trial should be considered on an individual basis.
Recent genome-wide association studies revealed that a genetic variant in the loci corresponding to histone deacetylase 9 (HDAC9) is associated with large vessel stroke. HDAC9 expression was upregulated in human atherosclerotic plaques in different arteries. The molecular mechanisms how HDAC9 might increase atherosclerosis is not clear.
Although APOL1 gene variants are associated with nephropathy in African Americans, little is known about APOL1 protein synthesis, uptake, and localization in kidney cells. To address these questions, we examined APOL1 protein and mRNA localization in human kidney and human kidney-derived cell lines. Indirect immunofluorescence microscopy performed on nondiseased nephrectomy cryosections from persons with normal kidney function revealed that APOL1 protein was markedly enriched in podocytes (colocalized with synaptopodin and Wilms' tumor suppressor) and present in lower abundance in renal tubule cells. Fluorescence in situ hybridization detected APOL1 mRNA in glomeruli (podocytes and endothelial cells) and tubules, consistent with endogenous synthesis in these cell types. When these analyses were extended to renal-derived cell lines, quantitative RT-PCR did not detect APOL1 mRNA in human mesangial cells; however, abundant levels of APOL1 mRNA were observed in proximal tubule cells and glomerular endothelial cells, with lower expression in podocytes. Western blot analysis revealed corresponding levels of APOL1 protein in these cell lines. To explain the apparent discrepancy between the marked abundance of APOL1 protein in kidney podocytes observed in cryosections versus the lesser abundance in podocyte cell lines, we explored APOL1 cellular uptake. APOL1 protein was taken up readily by human podocytes in vitro but was not taken up efficiently by mesangial cells, glomerular endothelial cells, or proximal tubule cells. We hypothesize that the higher levels of APOL1 protein in human cryosectioned podocytes may reflect both endogenous protein synthesis and APOL1 uptake from the circulation or glomerular filtrate.
Excessive caloric intake is associated with obesity and adipose tissue dysfunction. However, the role of dietary cholesterol in this process is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine whether increasing dietary cholesterol intake alters adipose tissue cholesterol content, adipocyte size, and endocrine function in nonhuman primates.
Transplantation studies suggest that bone marrow cell ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 protects against atherosclerosis development. However, the in vivo effect of macrophage ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 expression on atherogenesis is not fully understood because bone marrow contains other leukocytes and hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Myeloid-specific ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 knockout mice in the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor knockout C57BL/6 background were developed to address this question.
Recent studies have indicated that high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) and their major structural protein, apolipoprotein A1 (apoA1), recovered from human atheroma are dysfunctional and are extensively oxidized by myeloperoxidase (MPO). In vitro oxidation of either apoA1 or HDL particles by MPO impairs their cholesterol acceptor function. Here, using phage display affinity maturation, we developed a high-affinity monoclonal antibody that specifically recognizes both apoA1 and HDL that have been modified by the MPO-H2O2-Cl(-) system. An oxindolyl alanine (2-OH-Trp) moiety at Trp72 of apoA1 is the immunogenic epitope. Mutagenesis studies confirmed a critical role for apoA1 Trp72 in MPO-mediated inhibition of the ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1)-dependent cholesterol acceptor activity of apoA1 in vitro and in vivo. ApoA1 containing a 2-OH-Trp72 group (oxTrp72-apoA1) is in low abundance within the circulation but accounts for 20% of the apoA1 in atherosclerosis-laden arteries. OxTrp72-apoA1 recovered from human atheroma or plasma is lipid poor, virtually devoid of cholesterol acceptor activity and demonstrated both a potent proinflammatory activity on endothelial cells and an impaired HDL biogenesis activity in vivo. Elevated oxTrp72-apoA1 levels in subjects presenting to a cardiology clinic (n = 627) were associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk. Circulating oxTrp72-apoA1 levels may serve as a way to monitor a proatherogenic process in the artery wall.
Apolipoprotein M (apoM), a lipocalin family member, preferentially associates with plasma HDL and binds plasma sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a signaling molecule active in immune homeostasis and endothelial barrier function. ApoM overexpression in ABCA1-expressing HEK293 cells stimulated larger nascent HDL formation, compared to cells that did not express apoM; however, the in vivo role of apoM in HDL metabolism remains poorly understood. To test whether hepatic apoM overexpression increases plasma HDL size, we generated hepatocyte-specific apoM transgenic (apoM Tg) mice, which had ~3-5-fold increase in plasma apoM levels compared with wild-type mice. Although HDL cholesterol concentrations were similar to wild-type mice, apoM Tg mice had larger plasma HDLs enriched in apoM, cholesteryl ester, lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase, and S1P. Despite the presence of larger plasma HDLs in apoM Tg mice, in vivo macrophage reverse cholesterol transport capacity was similar to that in wild-type mice. ApoM Tg mice had an ~5-fold increase in plasma S1P, which was predominantly associated with larger plasma HDLs. Primary hepatocytes from apoM Tg mice generated larger nascent HDLs and displayed increased sphingolipid synthesis and S1P secretion. Inhibition of ceramide synthases in hepatocytes increased cellular S1P levels, but not S1P secretion, suggesting that apoM is rate-limiting in the export of hepatocyte S1P. Our data indicate that hepatocyte-specific apoM overexpression: 1) generates larger nascent HDLs and larger plasma HDLs, which preferentially bind apoM and S1P; and 2) stimulates S1P biosynthesis for secretion. The unique apoM/S1P-enriched plasma HDL may serve to deliver S1P to extrahepatic tissues for atheroprotection and may have other as yet unidentified functions.
On the 20th anniversary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, a network of very large marine protected areas (the Big Ocean network) has emerged as a key strategy in the move to arrest marine decline and conserve some of the last remaining relatively undisturbed marine areas on the globe. Here we outline the ecological, economic and policy benefits of very large-scale MPAs and show their disproportionate value to global marine conservation targets. In particular we point out that very large-scale MPAs are a critical component of reaching the Aichi targets of protecting 10% of global marine habitats by 2020, because in addition to encompassing entire ecosystems, they will bring forward the expected date of achievement by nearly three decades (2025 as opposed to 2054). While the need for small MPAs remains critical, large MPAs will complement and enhance these conservation efforts. Big Ocean sites currently contain more than 80% of managed area in the sea, and provide our best hope for arresting the global decline in marine biodiversity.
Heart disease, either clinically apparent or silent, is a frequent complication of systemic sclerosis (SSc, scleroderma) and may affect both patients with diffuse cutaneous and limited cutaneous SSc. The availability of more sensitive modalities has led to an increased awareness of scleroderma heart disease, which often involves the pericardium, myocardium, and cardiac conduction system. This awareness of cardiac involvement requires attention and interventions led by internists, cardiologists, and rheumatologists. Although no specific therapy exists for scleroderma heart disease, early recognition of the presence and type of scleroderma heart disease may lead to more effective management of patients with scleroderma.
The aims of this study were to determine the reproductive seasonality of four captive markhor goats (Capra falconeri heptneri), to characterize semen collected by electroejaculation, and to compare extenders and processing techniques for semen cryopreservation. Over the course of 1 yr, mean monthly scrotal circumference, serum testosterone, and fecal testosterone were measured and found to be inversely associated with day length. Maximum scrotal circumference (25.2 +/- 0.9 cm), serum testosterone (521.0 +/- 103.4 ng/dl), and fecal testosterone (382.5 +/- 90.3 ng/g) occurred in November, when day length was short (9.7 +/- 0.1 hr). Once a month for 3 mo (December, January, and February), bucks were anesthetized for electroejaculation and semen evaluation. Semen samples were divided into six aliquots for extension and cryopreservation in soy-based Bioxcell or Tris-based extender with 5 or 15% egg yolk, with and without centrifugation. Samples were then thawed for repeat evaluation 1-3 mo later. Postthaw evaluation revealed no significant differences between centrifuged and noncentrifuged samples. Sperm in Tris 5% and 15% egg yolk displayed higher total motility at 0, 3, and 6 hr postthaw and higher progressive motility postthaw compared with sperm in Bioxcell (P < 0.05). Sperm in Bioxcell displayed higher viability than sperm in both Tris-egg yolk extenders (P < 0.01), more intact acrosomes than sperm in Tris-15% egg yolk (P < 0.05), and a tendency for more intact acrosomes than sperm in Tris-5% egg yolk (P < 0.10). Sperm in Tris-5% egg yolk tended to have a higher percentage of morphologically normal sperm compared with Bioxcell (P < 0.10). This study provides evidence that markhor goats exhibit seasonality in scrotal circumference and testosterone levels and that centrifugation may be eliminated from the processing of markhor semen.
We have previously described apolipoprotein B (apoB)-dependent and -independent cholesterol absorption pathways and the role of microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) and ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) in these pathways. To assess the contribution of these pathways to cholesterol absorption and to determine whether there are other pathways, we generated mice that lack MTP and ABCA1, individually and in combination, in the intestine. Intestinal deletions of Mttp and Abca1 decreased plasma cholesterol concentrations by 45 and 24%, respectively, whereas their combined deletion reduced it by 59%. Acute cholesterol absorption was reduced by 28% in the absence of ABCA1, and it was reduced by 92-95% when MTP was deleted in the intestine alone or together with ABCA1. MTP deficiency significantly reduced triglyceride absorption, although ABCA1 deficiency had no effect. ABCA1 deficiency did not affect cellular lipids, but Mttp deficiency significantly increased intestinal levels of triglycerides and free fatty acids. Accumulation of intestinal free fatty acids, but not triglycerides, in Mttp-deficient intestines was prevented when mice were also deficient in intestinal ABCA1. Combined deficiency of these genes increased intestinal fatty acid oxidation as a consequence of increased expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-? (PPAR?) and carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1? (CPT1?). These studies show that intestinal MTP and ABCA1 are critical for lipid absorption and are the main determinants of plasma and intestinal lipid levels. Reducing their activities might lower plasma lipid concentrations.
Obesity-associated low-grade chronic inflammation plays an important role in the development of insulin resistance. The membrane lipid transporter ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) promotes formation of nascent HDL particles. ABCA1 also dampens macrophage inflammation by reducing cellular membrane cholesterol and lipid raft content. We tested the hypothesis that myeloid-specific ABCA1 deletion may exacerbate insulin resistance by increasing the obesity-associated chronic low-grade inflammation. Myeloid cell-specific ABCA1 knockout (MSKO) and wild-type (WT) mice developed obesity, insulin resistance, mild hypercholesterolemia, and hepatic steatosis to a similar extent with a 45% high-fat (HF) diet feeding or after crossing into the ob/ob background. Resident peritoneal macrophages and stromal vascular cells from obese MSKO mice accumulated significantly more cholesterol. Relative to chow, HF diet markedly induced macrophage infiltration and inflammatory cytokine expression to a similar extent in adipose tissue of WT and MSKO mice. Among pro-inflammatory cytokines examined, only IL-6 was highly upregulated in MSKO-ob/ob versus ob/ob mouse peritoneal macrophages, indicating a nonsignificant effect of myeloid ABCA1 deficiency on obesity-associated chronic inflammation. In conclusion, myeloid-specific ABCA1 deficiency does not exacerbate obesity-associated low-grade chronic inflammation and has minimal impact on the pathogenesis of insulin resistance in both HF diet-induced and genetically obese mouse models.
Hepatic ATP binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) expression is critical for maintaining plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) concentrations, but its role in macrophage reverse cholesterol transport and atherosclerosis is not fully understood. We investigated atherosclerosis development and reverse cholesterol transport in hepatocyte-specific ABCA1 knockout (HSKO) mice in the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor KO (LDLrKO) C57BL/6 background.
Echium oil (EO), which is enriched in SDA (18:4 n-3), reduces plasma triglyceride (TG) concentrations in humans and mice. We compared mechanisms by which EO and fish oil (FO) reduce plasma TG concentrations in mildly hypertriglyceridemic male apoB100-only LDLrKO mice. Mice were fed one of three atherogenic diets containing 0.2% cholesterol and palm oil (PO; 20%), EO (10% EO + 10% PO), or FO (10% FO + 10% PO). Livers from PO- and EO-fed mice had similar TG and cholesteryl ester (CE) content, which was significantly higher than in FO-fed mice. Plasma TG secretion was reduced in FO vs. EO-fed mice. Plasma very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) particle size was ordered: PO (63 ± 4 nm) > EO (55 ± 3 nm) > FO (40 ± 2 nm). Post-heparin lipolytic activity was similar among groups, but TG hydrolysis by purified lipoprotein lipase was significantly greater for EO and FO VLDL compared to PO VLDL. Removal of VLDL tracer from plasma was marginally faster in EO vs. PO fed mice. Our results suggest that EO reduces plasma TG primarily through increased intravascular lipolysis of TG and VLDL clearance. Finally, EO may substitute for FO to reduce plasma TG concentrations, but not hepatic steatosis in this mouse model.
Plasma high-density lipoprotein levels are inversely correlated with atherosclerosis. Although it is widely assumed that this is attributable to the ability of high-density lipoprotein to promote cholesterol efflux from macrophage foam cells, direct experimental support for this hypothesis is lacking.
Pathologic angiogenesis mediated by abnormally polarized macrophages plays a central role in common age-associated diseases such as atherosclerosis, cancer, and macular degeneration. Here we demonstrate that abnormal polarization in older macrophages is caused by programmatic changes that lead to reduced expression of ATP binding cassette transporter ABCA1. Downregulation of ABCA1 by microRNA-33 impairs the ability of macrophages to effectively efflux intracellular cholesterol, which in turn leads to higher levels of free cholesterol within senescent macrophages. Elevated intracellular lipid polarizes older macrophages to an abnormal, alternatively activated phenotype that promotes pathologic vascular proliferation. Mice deficient for Abca1, but not Abcg1, demonstrate an accelerated aging phenotype, whereas restoration of cholesterol efflux using LXR agonists or miR-33 inhibitors reverses it. Monocytes from older humans with age-related macular degeneration showed similar changes. These findings provide an avenue for therapeutic modulation of macrophage function in common age-related diseases.
Acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase B gene (ACACB) single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2268388 is reproducibly associated with type 2 diabetes (T2DM)-associated nephropathy (DN). ACACB knock-out mice are also protected from obesity. This study assessed relationships between rs2268388, body mass index (BMI) and gene expression in multiple populations, with and without T2DM. Among subjects without T2DM, rs2268388 DN risk allele (T) associated with higher BMI in Pima Indian children (n?=?2021; p-additive?=?0.029) and African Americans (AAs) (n?=?177; p-additive?=?0.05), with a trend in European Americans (EAs) (n?=?512; p-additive?=?0.09), but not Germans (n?=?858; p-additive?=?0.765). Association with BMI was seen in a meta-analysis including all non-T2DM subjects (n?=?3568; p-additive?=?0.02). Among subjects with T2DM, rs2268388 was not associated with BMI in Japanese (n?=?2912) or EAs (n?=?1149); however, the T allele associated with higher BMI in the subset with BMI?30 kg/m(2) (n?=?568 EAs; p-additive?=?0.049, n?=?196 Japanese; p-additive?=?0.049). Association with BMI was strengthened in a T2DM meta-analysis that included an additional 756 AAs (p-additive?=?0.080) and 48 Hong Kong Chinese (p-additive?=?0.81) with BMI?30 kg/m(2) (n?=?1575; p-additive?=?0.0033). The effect of rs2268388 on gene expression revealed that the T risk allele associated with higher ACACB messenger levels in adipose tissue (41 EAs and 20 AAs with BMI>30 kg/m(2); p-additive?=?0.018) and ACACB protein levels in the liver tissue (mixed model p-additive?=?0.03, in 25 EA bariatric surgery patients with BMI>30 kg/m(2) for 75 exams). The T allele also associated with higher hepatic triglyceride levels. These data support a role for ACACB in obesity and potential roles for altered lipid metabolism in susceptibility to DN.
Gammadelta (??) T lymphocytes respond quickly upon antigen encounter to produce a cytokine response. In this study, we sought to understand how functions of ?? T cells are differentially regulated compared to ?? T cells. We found that cholesterol, an integral component of the plasma membrane and a regulator of TCR signaling, is increased in ?? T cells compared to ?? T cells, and modulates their function. Higher levels of activation markers, and increased lipid raft content in ?? cells suggest that ?? T cells are more activated. Cholesterol depletion effectively decreased lipid raft formation and activation of ?? T cells, indicating that increased cholesterol content contributes to the hyper-activated phenotype of ?? T cells, possibly through enhanced clustering of TCR signals in lipid rafts. TCR stimulation assays and western blotting revealed that instead of a lower TCR threshold, enhanced TCR signaling through ERK1/2 activation is likely the cause for high cholesterol-induced rapid activation and proliferation in ?? T cells. Our data indicate that cholesterol metabolism is differentially regulated in ?? T cells. The high intracellular cholesterol content leads to enhanced TCR signaling and increases activation and proliferation of ?? T cells.
Coding variants in the apolipoprotein L1 gene (APOL1) are strongly associated with non-diabetic nephropathy in African Americans. ApoL1 proteins associate with high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles in the circulation. Plasma HDL particle subclass concentrations were compared in 73 African Americans based on APOL1 genotypes to detect differences potentially contributing to renal disease.
Adipose tissue (AT) is the bodys largest free cholesterol reservoir and abundantly expresses ATP binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1), a key cholesterol transporter for high-density lipoprotein (HDL) biogenesis. However, the extent to which AT ABCA1 expression contributes to HDL biogenesis in vivo is unknown.
Elevated plasma triglyceride (TG) and reduced high density lipoprotein (HDL) concentrations are prominent features of metabolic syndrome (MS) and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Individuals with Tangier disease also have elevated plasma TG concentrations and a near absence of HDL, resulting from mutations in ATP binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1), which facilitates the efflux of cellular phospholipid and free cholesterol to assemble with apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I), forming nascent HDL particles. In this review, we summarize studies focused on the regulation of hepatic very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) TG production, with particular attention on recent evidence connecting hepatic ABCA1 expression to VLDL, LDL, and HDL metabolism. Silencing ABCA1 in McArdle rat hepatoma cells results in diminished assembly of large (>10nm) nascent HDL particles, diminished PI3 kinase activation, and increased secretion of large, TG-enriched VLDL1 particles. Hepatocyte-specific ABCA1 knockout (HSKO) mice have a similar plasma lipid phenotype as Tangier disease subjects, with a two-fold elevation of plasma VLDL TG, 50% lower LDL, and 80% reduction in HDL concentrations. This lipid phenotype arises from increased hepatic secretion of VLDL1 particles, increased hepatic uptake of plasma LDL by the LDL receptor, elimination of nascent HDL particle assembly by the liver, and hypercatabolism of apoA-I by the kidney. These studies highlight a novel role for hepatic ABCA1 in the metabolism of all three major classes of plasma lipoproteins and provide a metabolic link between elevated TG and reduced HDL levels that are a common feature of Tangier disease, MS, and T2D. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Triglyceride Metabolism and Disease.
Lipid rafts and caveolae play a pivotal role in organization of signaling by TLR4 and several other immune receptors. Beyond the simple cataloguing of signaling events compartmentalized by these membrane microdomains, recent studies have revealed the surprisingly central importance of dynamic remodeling of membrane lipid domains to immune signaling. Simple interventions upon membrane lipid, such as changes in cholesterol loading or crosslinking of raft lipids, are sufficient to induce micrometer-scale reordering of membranes and their protein cargo with consequent signal transduction. In this review, using TLR signaling in the macrophage as a central focus, we discuss emerging evidence that environmental and genetic perturbations of membrane lipid regulate protein signaling, illustrate how homeostatic flow of cholesterol and other lipids through rafts regulates the innate immune response, and highlight recent attempts to harness these insights toward therapeutic development.
The anti-atherogenic and hypotriglyceridemic properties of fish oil are attributed to its enrichment in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5, n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6, n-3). Echium oil contains stearidonic acid (SDA; 18:4, n-3), which is metabolized to EPA in humans and mice, resulting in decreased plasma triglycerides.
Acetyl Coenzyme A carboxylase ? (ACACB) is the rate-limiting enzyme in fatty acid oxidation, and continuous fatty acid oxidation in Acacb knock-out mice increases insulin sensitivity. Systematic human studies have not been performed to evaluate whether ACACB variants regulate gene expression and insulin sensitivity in skeletal muscle and adipose tissues. We sought to determine whether ACACB transcribed variants were associated with ACACB gene expression and insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic African American (AA) and European American (EA) adults.
Growth hormone 1 (GH1) gene deletions occur in approximately 10-15% of patients with severe isolated, GH deficiency (GHD). The standard treatment for GHD is GH replacement. Individuals with GH gene defects, however, may form GH antibodies that interfere with the efficacy of exogenous recombinant GH (rhGH) therapy.
Previously we showed that weekly, written, timed, and peer-graded practice exams help increase student performance on written exams and decrease failure rates in an introductory biology course. Here we analyze the accuracy of peer grading, based on a comparison of student scores to those assigned by a professional grader. When students graded practice exams by themselves, they were significantly easier graders than a professional; overall, students awarded ?25% more points than the professional did. This difference represented ?1.33 points on a 10-point exercise, or 0.27 points on each of the five 2-point questions posed. When students graded practice exams as a group of four, the same student-expert difference occurred. The student-professional gap was wider for questions that demanded higher-order versus lower-order cognitive skills. Thus, students not only have a harder time answering questions on the upper levels of Blooms taxonomy, they have a harder time grading them. Our results suggest that peer grading may be accurate enough for low-risk assessments in introductory biology. Peer grading can help relieve the burden on instructional staff posed by grading written answers-making it possible to add practice opportunities that increase student performance on actual exams.
Cellular toxicity mediated by lipids (lipotoxicity) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus. Genetic analyses now implicate lipotoxicity in susceptibility to type 2 diabetes mellitus-associated nephropathy (T2DN), a pathway that had previously been unexplored. A genome-wide association study in Japanese patients identified a single nucleotide polymorphism in the acetyl-CoA carboxylase ? (ACACB) gene associated with T2DN. Replication analyses suggest that this same polymorphism may be a diabetic nephropathy risk allele in other ethnic groups. The ACACB gene (also called ACC2 or acetyl-CoA carboxylase 2) plays a critical role in intracellular fatty acid (FA) oxidation. This manuscript reviews the physiology of FA metabolism and adverse cellular effects that can result from dysregulation of this process. It is hypothesized that glomerular and tubular dysfunction can be induced by increases in intracellular FA concentrations, a process that may be enabled by genetic risk variants. This novel glucolipotoxicity hypothesis in T2DN warrants further investigation.
We previously showed that macrophages from macrophage-specific ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) knockout (Abca1(-M/-M)) mice had an enhanced proinflammatory response to the Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 agonist, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), compared with wild-type (WT) mice. In the present study, we demonstrate a direct association between free cholesterol (FC), lipid raft content, and hyper-responsiveness of macrophages to LPS in WT mice. Abca1(-M/-M) macrophages were also hyper-responsive to specific agonists to TLR2, TLR7, and TLR9, but not TLR3, compared with WT macrophages. We hypothesized that ABCA1 regulates macrophage responsiveness to TLR agonists by modulation of lipid raft cholesterol and TLR mobilization to lipid rafts. We demonstrated that Abca1(-M/-M) vs. WT macrophages contained 23% more FC in isolated lipid rafts. Further, mass spectrometric analysis suggested raft phospholipid composition was unchanged. Although cell surface expression of TLR4 was similar between Abca1(-M/-M) and WT macrophages, significantly more TLR4 was distributed in membrane lipid rafts in Abca1(-M/-M) macrophages. Abca1(-M/-M) macrophages also exhibited increased trafficking of the predominantly intracellular TLR9 into lipid rafts in response to TLR9-specific agonist (CpG). Collectively, our data suggest that macrophage ABCA1 dampens inflammation by reducing MyD88-dependent TLRs trafficking to lipid rafts by selective reduction of FC content in lipid rafts.
The reported incidence rate of primary congenital hypothyroidism (CH) has been increasing in the United States over the past 2 decades. We have considered the possibility that the inclusion of cases of transient hypothyroidism has inflated the reported incidence rate of CH. Assessing the effects of cases of transient hypothyroidism on the incidence rate is problematic, because the definitions, diagnostic criteria, and differentiation from transient hyperthyrotropinemia vary widely among state newborn screening programs. Among the 4 etiologies for transient hypothyroidism (maternal thyrotropin receptor-blocking antibodies, exposure to maternal antithyroid medications, iodine deficiency, and iodine excess), there is little evidence of increases in the incidence rate from thyrotropin receptor-blocking antibodies. Exposure to antithyroid drugs could contribute significantly to the incidence rate of transient CH, given the high estimated incidence of active maternal hyperthyroidism. Iodine deficiency or excess in the United States seems unlikely to have contributed significantly to the incidence rate of CH, because the secular trend toward lower iodine intake among women of reproductive age in the 1980s and 1990s seems to have plateaued, and perinatal iodine exposure has presumably declined as a result of recommendations to discontinue using iodine-containing disinfectants. Although the female-to-male sex ratio among newborns with thyroid agenesis or dysgenesis (the most common causes of CH) is typically 2:1, analysis of the sex ratio of newborns diagnosed with presumed CH in the United States suggests that a substantial proportion might have transient hypothyroidism or hyperthyrotropinemia, because the sex ratio has been well below the expected 2:1 ratio. Combined ultrasonography and (123)I scintigraphy of the thyroid gland are effective tools for identifying cases of thyroid agenesis and dysgenesis and can help to differentiate cases of transient hypothyroidism from true CH. Imaging is also a vital component in evaluating children who, at 3 years of age, undergo a trial of discontinuation of levothyroxine treatment to test for persistence of hypothyroidism. Ultimately, thyroid gland imaging, in conjunction with long-term follow-up studies that appropriately assess and report whether there was permanence of hypothyroidism, will be necessary to address the true incidence rate of CH and any contribution to the observed rate by transient cases of hypothyroidism or hyperthyrotropinemia.
Cholesterol is a critical component of cell membranes, and cellular cholesterol levels and distribution are tightly regulated in mammals. Recent evidence has revealed a critical role for pancreatic beta cell-specific cholesterol homeostasis in insulin secretion as well as in beta cell dysfunction in diabetes and the metabolic response to thiazolidinediones (TZDs), which are antidiabetic drugs. The ATP-binding cassette transporter G1 (ABCG1) has been shown to play a role in cholesterol efflux, but its role in beta cells is currently unknown. In other cell types, ABCG1 expression is downregulated in diabetes and upregulated by TZDs. Here we have demonstrated an intracellular role for ABCG1 in beta cells. Loss of ABCG1 expression impaired insulin secretion both in vivo and in vitro, but it had no effect on cellular cholesterol content or efflux. Subcellular localization studies showed the bulk of ABCG1 protein to be present in insulin granules. Loss of ABCG1 led to altered granule morphology and reduced granule cholesterol levels. Administration of exogenous cholesterol restored granule morphology and cholesterol content and rescued insulin secretion in ABCG1-deficient islets. These findings suggest that ABCG1 acts primarily to regulate subcellular cholesterol distribution in mouse beta cells. Furthermore, islet ABCG1 expression was reduced in diabetic mice and restored by TZDs, implicating a role for regulation of islet ABCG1 expression in diabetes pathogenesis and treatment.
In Tangier disease, absence of ATP binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) results in reduced plasma HDL and elevated triglyceride (TG) levels. We hypothesized that hepatocyte ABCA1 regulates VLDL TG secretion through nascent HDL production. Silencing of ABCA1 expression in oleate-stimulated rat hepatoma cells resulted in: 1) decreased large nascent HDL (>10 nm diameter) and increased small nascent HDL (<10 nm) formation, 2) increased large buoyant VLDL1 particle secretion, and 3) decreased phosphatidylinositol-3 (PI3) kinase activation. Nascent HDL-containing conditioned medium from rat hepatoma cells or HEK293 cells transfected with ABCA1 was effective in increasing PI3 kinase activation and reducing VLDL TG secretion in ABCA1-silenced hepatoma cells. Addition of isolated large nascent HDL particles to ABCA1-silenced hepatoma cells inhibited VLDL TG secretion to a greater extent than small nascent HDL. Similarly, addition of recombinant HDL, but not human plasma HDL, was effective in attenuating TG secretion and increasing PI3 kinase activation in ABCA1-silenced cells. Collectively, these data suggest that large nascent HDL particles, assembled by hepatic ABCA1, generate a PI3 kinase-mediated autocrine signal that attenuates VLDL maturation and TG secretion. This pathway may explain the elevated plasma TG concentration that occurs in most Tangier subjects and may also account, in part, for the inverse relationship between plasma HDL and TG concentrations in individuals with compromised ABCA1 function.
Loss of ABCA1 activity in Tangier disease (TD) is associated with abnormal apoB lipoprotein (Lp) metabolism in addition to the complete absence of high density lipoprotein (HDL). We used hepatocyte-specific ABCA1 knock-out (HSKO) mice to test the hypothesis that hepatic ABCA1 plays dual roles in regulating Lp metabolism and nascent HDL formation. HSKO mice recapitulated the TD lipid phenotype with postprandial hypertriglyceridemia, markedly decreased LDL, and near absence of HDL. Triglyceride (TG) secretion was 2-fold higher in HSKO compared with wild type mice, primarily due to secretion of larger TG-enriched VLDL secondary to reduced hepatic phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling. HSKO mice also displayed delayed clearance of postprandial TG and reduced post-heparin plasma lipolytic activity. In addition, hepatic LDLr expression and plasma LDL catabolism were increased 2-fold in HSKO compared with wild type mice. Last, adenoviral repletion of hepatic ABCA1 in HSKO mice normalized plasma VLDL TG and hepatic phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling, with a partial recovery of HDL cholesterol levels, providing evidence that hepatic ABCA1 is involved in the reciprocal regulation of apoB Lp production and HDL formation. These findings suggest that altered apoB Lp metabolism in TD subjects may result from hepatic VLDL TG overproduction and increased hepatic LDLr expression and highlight hepatic ABCA1 as an important regulatory factor for apoB-containing Lp metabolism.
Crosstalk exists in mammalian cells between cholesterol trafficking and innate immune signaling. Apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I), a serum apolipoprotein that induces antiatherogenic efflux of macrophage cholesterol, is widely described as anti-inflammatory because it neutralizes bacterial lipopolysaccharide. Conversely, lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation is proatherogenic. However, whether innate immunity plays an endogenous, physiological role in host cholesterol homeostasis in the absence of infection is undetermined. We report that apoA-I signals in the macrophage through Toll-like receptor (TLR)2, TLR4, and CD14, utilizing myeloid differentiation primary response protein 88 (MyD88)-dependent and -independent pathways, to activate nuclear factor-kappaB and induce cytokines. MyD88 plays a critical role in reverse cholesterol transport in vitro and in vivo, in part through promoting ATP-binding cassette A1 transporter upregulation. Taken together, this work identifies apoA-I as an endogenous stimulus of innate immunity that couples cholesterol trafficking to inflammation through MyD88 and identifies innate immunity as a physiologic signal in cholesterol homeostasis.
Activated endothelium and increased monocyte-endothelial interactions in the vessel wall are key early events in atherogenesis. ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporters play important roles in regulating sterol homeostasis in many cell types. Endothelial cells (EC) have a high capacity to efflux sterols and express the ABC transporter, ABCG1. Here, we define the role of ABCG1 in the regulation of lipid homeostasis and inflammation in aortic EC.
Cholesterol is a key component of cell membranes and is essential for cell growth and proliferation. How the accumulation of cellular cholesterol affects lymphocyte development and function is not well understood. We demonstrate that ATP-binding cassette transporter G1 (ABCG1) regulates cholesterol homeostasis in thymocytes and peripheral CD4 T cells. Our work is the first to describe a cell type in Abcg1-deficient mice with such a robust change in cholesterol content and the expression of cholesterol metabolism genes. Abcg1-deficient mice display increased thymocyte cellularity and enhanced proliferation of thymocytes and peripheral T lymphocytes in vivo. The absence of ABCG1 in CD4 T cells results in hyperproliferation in vitro, but only when cells are stimulated through the TCR. We hypothesize that cholesterol accumulation in Abcg1(-/-) T cells alters the plasma membrane structure, resulting in enhanced TCR signaling for proliferation. Supporting this idea, we demonstrate that B6 T cells pretreated with soluble cholesterol have a significant increase in proliferation. Cholesterol accumulation in Abcg1(-/-) CD4 T cells results in enhanced basal phosphorylation levels of ZAP70 and ERK1/2. Furthermore, inhibition of ERK phosphorylation in TCR-stimulated Abcg1(-/-) T cells rescues the hyperproliferative phenotype. We describe a novel mechanism by which cholesterol can alter signaling from the plasma membrane to affect downstream signaling pathways and proliferation. These results implicate ABCG1 as an important negative regulator of lymphocyte proliferation through the maintenance of cellular cholesterol homeostasis.
The plasmid vector pLIV11 is used commonly to achieve liver-specific expression of genes of interest in transgenic mice and rabbits. Expression is driven by the human apolipoprotein (apo)E 5 proximal promoter, which includes 5 kb of upstream sequence, exon 1, intron 1, and 5 bp of exon 2. A 3.8 kb 3 hepatic control region, derived from a region approximately 18 kb downstream of the apoE gene, enhances liver-specific expression. Here, we report that cDNA sequences inserted into the multiple cloning site (MCS) of pLIV11, which is positioned just downstream of truncated exon 2, can cause exon 2 skipping. Hence, splicing is displaced to downstream cryptic 3 splice acceptor sites causing deletion of cloned 5 untranslated mRNA sequences and, in some cases, deletion of the 5 end of an open reading frame. To prevent use of cryptic splice sites, the pLIV11 vector was modified with an engineered 3 splice acceptor site inserted immediately downstream of truncated apoE exon 2. Presence of this sequence fully shifted splicing of exon 1 from the native intron 1-exon 2 splice acceptor site to the engineered site. This finding confirmed that sequences inserted into the MCS of the vector pLIV11 can affect exon 2 recognition and provides a strategy to protect cloned sequences from alternative splicing and possible attenuation of transgenic expression.
Stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1) is a critical regulator of energy metabolism and inflammation. We have previously reported that inhibition of SCD1 in hyperlipidemic mice fed a saturated fatty acid (SFA)-enriched diet prevented development of the metabolic syndrome, yet surprisingly promoted severe atherosclerosis. In this study we tested whether dietary fish oil supplementation could prevent the accelerated atherosclerosis caused by SCD1 inhibition.
Apolipoprotein M (apoM) is a novel apolipoprotein that is reportedly necessary for pre beta HDL formation; however, its detailed function remains unknown. We investigated the biogenesis and properties of apoM and its effects on the initial steps of nascent pre beta HDL assembly by ABCA1 in HEK293 cells. Transiently transfected apoM was localized primarily in the endomembrane compartment. Pulse-chase analyses demonstrated that apoM is inefficiently secreted, relative to human serum albumin, and that approximately 50% remains membrane-associated after extraction with sodium carbonate, pH 11.5. To investigate the role of apoM in nascent pre beta HDL formation, ABCA1-expressing or control cells, transfected with empty vector, apoM, or C-terminal epitope-tagged apoM (apoM-C-FLAG), were incubated with (125)I-apoA-I for 24 h. Conditioned media were harvested and fractionated by fast-protein liquid chromatography (FPLC) to monitor HDL particle size. Pre beta HDL particles were formed effectively in the absence of apoM expression; however, increased apoM expression stimulated the formation of larger-sized nascent pre beta HDLs. Immunoprecipitation with anti-apoA-I antibody followed by apoM Western blot analysis revealed that little secreted apoM was physically associated with pre beta HDL. Our results suggest that apoM is an atypical secretory protein that is not necessary for ABCA1-dependent pre beta HDL formation but does stimulate the formation of larger-sized pre beta HDL. We propose that apoM may function catalytically at an intracellular site to transfer lipid onto pre beta HDL during or after their formation by ABCA1.
ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) plays a central role in promoting cholesterol efflux from macrophages, thereby reducing the risk of foam cell formation and atherosclerosis. The expression of ABCA1 is induced by members of the nuclear receptor family of transcription factors, including retinoic acid receptors (RARs). A key innate immunity signaling kinase, IRAK-1, has been associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis in humans and mice. This prompted us to investigate the potential connection between IRAK-1 and the expression of ABCA1. Here, we demonstrate that nuclear RARalpha levels are dramatically elevated in IRAK-1(-/-) macrophages. Correspondingly, IRAK-1(-/-) macrophages exhibit increased expression of ABCA1 mRNA and protein, as well as elevated cholesterol efflux in response to the RAR ligand ATRA. Analysis of the ABCA1 proximal promoter revealed binding sites for both RAR and NFAT. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated increased binding of RARalpha and NFATc2 to the ABCA1 promoter in IRAK-1(-/-) macrophages compared to wild-type macrophages. Additionally, lipopolysaccharide pretreatment reduced the nuclear levels of RARalpha and decreased ABCA1 expression and cholesterol efflux in wild-type but not in IRAK-1(-/-) cells. In summary, this study reveals a novel connection between innate immunity signaling processes and the regulation of ABCA1 expression in macrophages and defines a potential therapeutic target for treating atherosclerosis.
Lipid trafficking in the brain is essential for the maintenance and repair of neuronal membranes, especially after neurotoxic insults. However, brain lipid metabolism is not completely understood. In plasma, LCAT catalyses the esterification of free cholesterol on circulating lipoproteins, a key step in the maturation of HDL. Brain lipoproteins are apolipoprotein E (apoE)-containing, HDL-like particles secreted initially as lipid-poor discs by glial cells. LCAT is synthesized within the brain, suggesting that it may play a key role in the maturation of these lipoproteins. Here we demonstrate that astrocytes are the primary producers of brain LCAT. This LCAT esterifies free cholesterol on nascent apoE-containing lipopoproteins secreted from glia. ApoE is the major LCAT activator in glia-conditioned media (GCM), and both the cholesterol transporter ABCA1 and apoE are required to generate glial LCAT substrate particles. LCAT deficiency leads to the appearance of abnormal approximately 8 nm particles in GCM, and exogenous LCAT restores the lipoprotein particle distribution to the wild-type (WT) pattern. In vivo, complete LCAT deficiency results in a dramatic increase in apoE-HDL and reduced apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I)-HDL in murine cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). These data show that brain LCAT esterifies cholesterol on glial-derived apoE-lipoproteins, and influences CSF apoE and apoA-I levels.
Effective clearance of apoptotic cells by macrophages is essential for immune homeostasis. The transcriptional pathways that allow macrophages to sense and respond to apoptotic cells are poorly defined. We found that liver X receptor (LXR) signaling was important for both apoptotic cell clearance and the maintenance of immune tolerance. Apoptotic cell engulfment activated LXR and thereby induced the expression of Mer, a receptor tyrosine kinase critical for phagocytosis. LXR-deficient macrophages exhibited a selective defect in phagocytosis of apoptotic cells and an aberrant proinflammatory response to them. As a consequence of these defects, mice lacking LXRs manifested a breakdown in self-tolerance and developed autoantibodies and autoimmune glomerulonephritis. Treatment with an LXR agonist ameliorated disease progression in a mouse model of lupus-like autoimmunity. Thus, activation of LXR by apoptotic cells engages a virtuous cycle that promotes their own clearance and couples engulfment to the suppression of inflammatory pathways.
The expression of the cholesterol transporter ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) in the brain and its role in the lipidation of apolipoproteins indicate that ABCA1 may play a critical role in brain cholesterol metabolism. To investigate the role of ABCA1 in brain cholesterol homeostasis and trafficking, we characterized mice that specifically lacked ABCA1 in the CNS, generated using the Cre/loxP recombination system. These mice showed reduced plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels associated with decreased brain cholesterol content and enhanced brain uptake of esterified cholesterol from plasma HDL. Increased levels of HDL receptor SR-BI in brain capillaries and apolipoprotein A-I in brain and CSF of mutant mice were evident. Cholesterol homeostasis changes were mirrored by disturbances in motor activity and sensorimotor function. Changes in synaptic ultrastructure including reduced synapse and synaptic vesicle numbers were observed. These data show that ABCA1 is a key regulator of brain cholesterol metabolism and that disturbances in cholesterol transport in the CNS are associated with structural and functional deficits in neurons. Moreover, our findings also demonstrate that specific changes in brain cholesterol metabolism can lead to alterations in cholesterol uptake from plasma to brain.
We tested whether rosuvastatin (RST) protected against oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD)-induced cell death in primary rat cortical neuronal cultures. OGD reduced neuronal viability (%naive controls, mean +/- SE, n = 24-96, P < 0.05) to 44 +/- 1%, but 3-day pretreatment with RST (5 microM) increased survival to 82 +/- 2% (P < 0.05). One-day RST treatment was not protective. RST-induced neuroprotection was abolished by mevalonate or geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP), but not by cholesterol coapplication. Furthermore, RST-induced decreases in neuronal cholesterol levels were abolished by mevalonate but not by GGPP. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were reduced in RST-preconditioned neurons after OGD, and this effect was also reversed by both mevalonate and GGPP. These data suggested that GGPP, but not cholesterol depletion, were responsible for the induction of neuroprotection. Therefore, we tested whether 3-day treatments with perillic acid, a nonspecific inhibitor of both geranylgeranyl transferase (GGT) GGT 1 and Rab GGT, and the GGT 1-specific inhibitor GGTI-286 would reproduce the effects of RST. Perillic acid, but not GGTI-286, elicited robust neuronal preconditioning against OGD. RST, GGTI-286, and perillic acid all decreased mitochondrial membrane potential and lactate dehydrogenase activity in the cultured neurons, but only RST and perillic acid reduced neuronal ATP and membrane Rab3a protein levels. In conclusion, RST preconditions cultured neurons against OGD via depletion of GGPP, leading to decreased geranylgeranylation of proteins that are probably not isoprenylated by GGT 1. Reduced neuronal ATP levels and ROS production after OGD may be directly involved in the mechanism of neuroprotection.
The ATP-binding cassette transporter, subfamily A, member 1 (ABCA1) plays a key role in HDL cholesterol metabolism. However, the role of ABCA1 in modulating susceptibility to atherosclerosis is controversial.
ATP-binding cassette transporter G1 (ABCG1) plays a role in the intracellular transport of cholesterol. Invariant NKT (iNKT) cells are a subpopulation of T lymphocytes that recognize glycolipid Ags. In this study, we demonstrate that ABCG1 regulates iNKT cell development and functions in a cell-intrinsic manner. Abcg1(-/-) mice displayed reduced frequencies of iNKT cells in thymus and periphery. Thymic iNKT cells deficient in ABCG1 had reduced membrane lipid raft content, and showed impaired proliferation and defective maturation during the early stages of development. Moreover, we found that Abcg1(-/-) mice possess a higher frequency of V?7(+) iNKT cells, suggesting alterations in iNKT cell thymic selection. Furthermore, in response to CD3?/CD28 stimulation, Abcg1(-/-) thymic iNKT cells showed reduced production of IL-4 but increased production of IFN-?. Our results demonstrate that changes in intracellular cholesterol homeostasis by ABCG1 profoundly impact iNKT cell development and function.
ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) plays a critical role in eliminating excess free cholesterol from tissues by effluxing cellular free cholesterol and phospholipids to lipid-poor apolipoprotein AI. Macrophage ABCA1 also dampens proinflammatory myeloid differentiation primary-response protein 88-dependent toll-like receptor signaling by reducing cellular membrane free cholesterol and lipid raft content, indicating a role of ABCA1 in innate immunity. However, whether ABCA1 expression has a role in regulating macrophage function in vivo is unknown.
The collapse of thymic stromal cell microenvironment with age and resultant inability of the thymus to produce naive T cells contributes to lower immune-surveillance in the elderly. Here we show that age-related increase in lipotoxic danger signals such as free cholesterol (FC) and ceramides, leads to thymic caspase-1 activation via the Nlrp3 inflammasome. Elimination of Nlrp3 and Asc, a critical adaptor required for inflammasome assembly, reduces age-related thymic atrophy and results in an increase in cortical thymic epithelial cells, T cell progenitors and maintenance of T cell repertoire diversity. Using a mouse model of irradiation and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), we show that deletion of the Nlrp3 inflammasome accelerates T cell reconstitution and immune recovery in middle-aged animals. Collectively, these data demonstrate that lowering inflammasome-dependent caspase-1 activation increases thymic lymphopoiesis and suggest that Nlrp3 inflammasome inhibitors may aid the re-establishment of a diverse T cell repertoire in middle-aged or elderly patients undergoing HSCT.
Fish oil, containing omega-3 fatty acids, attenuates atherosclerosis. We hypothesized that omega-3 fatty acid-enriched oils are atheroprotective through alteration of monocyte subsets and their trafficking into atherosclerotic lesions.
This report details the lipid composition of nascent HDL (nHDL) particles formed by the action of the ATP binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) on apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I). nHDL particles of different size (average diameters of ? 12, 10, 7.5, and <6 nm) and composition were purified by size-exclusion chromatography. Electron microscopy suggested that the nHDL were mostly spheroidal. The proportions of the principal nHDL lipids, free cholesterol, glycerophosphocholine, and sphingomyelin were similar to that of lipid rafts, suggesting that the lipid originated from a raft-like region of the cell. Smaller amounts of glucosylceramides, cholesteryl esters, and other glycerophospholipid classes were also present. The largest particles, ? 12 nm and 10 nm diameter, contained ? 43% free cholesterol, 2-3% cholesteryl ester, and three apoA-I molecules. Using chemical cross-linking chemistry combined with mass spectrometry, we found that three molecules of apoA-I in the ? 9-14 nm nHDL adopted a belt-like conformation. The smaller (7.5 nm diameter) spheroidal nHDL particles carried 30% free cholesterol and two molecules of apoA-I in a twisted, antiparallel, double-belt conformation. Overall, these new data offer fresh insights into the biogenesis and structural constraints involved in forming nascent HDL from ABCA1.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels are inversely associated with coronary heart disease due to HDLs ability to transport excess cholesterol in arterial macrophages to the liver for excretion [i.e., reverse cholesterol transport (RCT)]. However, recent advances highlight additional atheroprotective roles for HDL beyond bulk cholesterol removal from cells through RCT. By promoting cellular free cholesterol (FC) efflux, HDL and its apolipoproteins (apoA-I and apoE) decrease plasma membrane FC and lipid raft content in immune and hematopoietic stem cells, decreasing inflammatory and cell proliferation signaling pathways. HDL and apoA-I also dampen inflammatory signaling pathways independent of cellular FC efflux. In addition, HDL lipid and protein cargo provide protection against parasitic and bacterial infection, endothelial damage, and oxidant toxicity. Here, current knowledge is reviewed regarding the role of HDL and its apolipoproteins in regulating cellular cholesterol homeostasis, highlighting recent advances on novel functions and mechanisms by which HDLs regulate inflammation and hematopoiesis.
Elevated plasma triglyceride and reduced HDL concentrations are prominent features of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Individuals with Tangier disease also have elevated plasma triglyceride concentrations and very low HDL, resulting from mutations in ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1), an integral membrane protein that facilitates nascent HDL particle assembly. Past studies attributed the inverse relationship between plasma HDL and triglyceride to intravascular lipid exchange and catabolic events. However, recent studies also suggest that hepatic signaling and lipid mobilization and secretion may explain how HDL affects plasma triglyceride concentrations.
12/15 lipoxygenase (12/15LO) oxidizes polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) to form bioactive lipid mediators. The role of 12/15LO in atherosclerosis development remains controversial. We evaluated atherosclerosis development and lipid metabolism in 12/15LO-LDL receptor (LDLr) double knockout (DK) vs. LDLr knockout (SK) mice fed a PUFA-enriched diet to enhance production of 12/15LO products. Compared with SK controls, DK mice fed a PUFA-enriched diet had decreased plasma and liver lipid levels, hepatic lipogenic gene expression, VLDL secretion, and aortic atherosclerosis and increased VLDL turnover. Bone marrow transplantation and Kupffer cell ablation studies suggested both circulating leukocytes and Kupffer cells contributed to the lipid phenotype in 12/15LO-deficient mice. Conditioned medium from in vitro incubation of DK vs. SK macrophages reduced triglyceride secretion in McArdle 7777 hepatoma cells. Our results suggest that, in the context of dietary PUFA enrichment, macrophage 12/15LO expression adversely affects plasma and hepatic lipid metabolism, resulting in exacerbated atherosclerosis.
Mutations of comparative gene identification 58 (CGI-58) in humans cause Chanarin-Dorfman syndrome, a rare autosomal recessive disease in which excess triacylglycerol (TAG) accumulates in multiple tissues. CGI-58 recently has been ascribed two distinct biochemical activities, including coactivation of adipose triglyceride lipase and acylation of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). It is noteworthy that both the substrate (LPA) and the product (phosphatidic acid) of the LPA acyltransferase reaction are well-known signaling lipids. Therefore, we hypothesized that CGI-58 is involved in generating lipid mediators that regulate TAG metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Here, we show that CGI-58 is required for the generation of signaling lipids in response to inflammatory stimuli and that lipid second messengers generated by CGI-58 play a critical role in maintaining the balance between inflammation and insulin action. Furthermore, we show that CGI-58 is necessary for maximal TH1 cytokine signaling in the liver. This novel role for CGI-58 in cytokine signaling may explain why diminished CGI-58 expression causes severe hepatic lipid accumulation yet paradoxically improves hepatic insulin action. Collectively, these findings establish that CGI-58 provides a novel source of signaling lipids. These findings contribute insight into the basic mechanisms linking TH1 cytokine signaling to nutrient metabolism.
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