In low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR)-deficient mice, overexpression of human plasma phospholipid transfer protein (PLTP) results in increased atherosclerosis. PLTP strongly decreases HDL levels and might alter the antiatherogenic properties of HDL particles. To study the potential interaction between human PLTP and apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I), double transgenic animals (hPLTPtg/hApoAItg) were compared with hApoAItg mice. PLTP activity was increased 4.5-fold. Plasma total cholesterol and phospholipid were decreased. Average HDL size (analyzed by gel filtration) increased strongly, hPLTPtg/hApoAItg mice having very large, LDL-sized, HDL particles. Also, after density gradient ultracentrifugation, a substantial part of the apoA-I-containing lipoproteins in hPLTPtg/hApoAItg mice was found in the LDL density range. In cholesterol efflux studies from macrophages, HDL isolated from hPLTPtg/hApoAItg mice was less efficient than HDL isolated from hApoAItg mice. Furthermore, it was found that the largest subfraction of the HDL particles present in hPLTPtg/hApoAItg mice was markedly inferior as a cholesterol acceptor, as no labeled cholesterol was transferred to this fraction. In an LDLR-deficient background, the human PLTP-expressing mouse line showed a 2.2-fold increased atherosclerotic lesion area. These data demonstrate that the action of human PLTP in the presence of human apoA-I results in the formation of a dysfunctional HDL subfraction, which is less efficient in the uptake of cholesterol from cholesterol-laden macrophages. Copyright

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Journal of Lipid Research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Moerland, M., Samyn, H., van Gent, T., Jauhiainen, M., Metso, J., van Haperen, R., … de Crom, R. (2007). Atherogenic, enlarged, and dysfunctional HDL in human PLTP/apoA-I double transgenic mice. Journal of Lipid Research, 48(12), 2622–2631. doi:10.1194/jlr.M700020-JLR200