Characterization of a new mouse model for human apolipoprotein A-I/C-III/A-IV deficiency.

Journal of lipid research

PubMedID: 16497661

Mezdour H, Larigauderie G, Castro G, Torpier G, Fruchart J, Nowak M, Fruchart JC, Rouis M, Maeda N. Characterization of a new mouse model for human apolipoprotein A-I/C-III/A-IV deficiency. J Lipid Res. 2006;47(5):912-20.
Human data raised the possibility that coronary heart disease is associated with mutations in the apolipoprotein gene cluster APOA1/C3/A4 that result in multideficiency of cluster-encoded apolipoproteins and hypoalphalipoproteinemia. To test this hypothesis, we generated a mouse model for human apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I)/C-III/A-IV deficiency. Homozygous mutants (Apoa1/c3/a4(-/-)) lacking the three cluster-encoded apolipoproteins were viable and fertile. In addition, feeding behavior and growth were apparently normal. Total cholesterol (TC), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLc), and triglyceride levels in the plasma of fasted mutants fed a regular chow were 32% (P < 0.001), 17% (P < 0.001), and 70% (P < 0.01), respectively, those of wild-type mice. When fed a high-fat Western-type (HFW) diet, Apoa1/c3/a4(-/-) mice showed a further decrease in HDLc concentration and a moderate increase in TC, essentially in non-HDL fraction. The capacity of Apoa1/c3/a4(-/-) plasma to promote cholesterol efflux in vitro was decreased to 75% (P < 0.001), and LCAT activity was decreased by 38% (P < 0.01). Despite the very low total plasma cholesterol, the imbalance in lipoprotein distribution caused small but detectable aortic lesions in one-third of Apoa1/c3/a4(-/-) mice fed a HFW diet. In contrast, none of the wild-type mice had lesions. These results demonstrate that Apoa1/c3/a4(-/-) mice display clinical features similar to human apoA-I/C-III/A-IV deficiency (i.e., marked hypoalphalipoproteinemia) and provide further support for the apoa1/c3/a4 gene cluster as a minor susceptibility locus for atherosclerosis in mice.