Helena E Miettinen

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, Region Metropolitana de Santiago, Chile

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Publications (5)57.47 Total impact

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    Attilio Rigotti, Helena E Miettinen, Monty Krieger
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    ABSTRACT: Because cholesterol is a precursor for the synthesis of steroid hormones, steroidogenic tissues have evolved multiple pathways to ensure adequate supplies of cholesterol. These include synthesis, storage as cholesteryl esters, and import from lipoproteins. In addition to endocytosis via members of the low-density lipoprotein receptor superfamily, steroidogenic cells acquire cholesterol from lipoproteins by selective lipid uptake. This pathway, which does not involve lysosomal degradation of the lipoprotein, is mediated by the scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI). SR-BI is highly expressed in steroidogenic cells, where its expression is regulated by various trophic hormones, as well as in the liver. Studies of genetically manipulated strains of mice have established that SR-BI plays a key role in regulating lipoprotein metabolism and cholesterol transport to steroidogenic tissues and to the liver for biliary secretion. In addition, analysis of SR-BI-deficient mice has shown that SR-BI expression is important for alpha-tocopherol and nitric oxide metabolism, as well as normal red blood cell maturation and female fertility. These mouse models have also revealed that SR-BI can protect against atherosclerosis. If SR-BI plays similar physiological and pathophysiological roles in humans, it may be an attractive target for therapeutic intervention in cardiovascular and reproductive diseases.
    Endocrine Reviews 07/2003; 24(3):357-87. DOI:10.1210/er.2001-0037 · 19.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mice with homozygous null mutations in the high-density lipoprotein receptor SR-BI (scavenger receptor class B, type I) and apolipoprotein E genes fed a low-fat diet exhibit a constellation of pathologies shared with human atherosclerotic coronary heart disease (CHD): hypercholesterolemia, occlusive coronary atherosclerosis, myocardial infarctions, cardiac dysfunction (heart enlargement, reduced systolic function and ejection fraction, and ECG abnormalities), and premature death (mean age 6 weeks). They also exhibit a block in RBC maturation and abnormally high plasma unesterified-to-total cholesterol ratio (0.8) with associated abnormal lipoprotein morphology (lamellar/vesicular and stacked discoidal particles reminiscent of those in lecithin/cholesterol acyltransferase deficiency and cholestasis). Treatment with the lipid-lowering, antiatherosclerosis, and antioxidation drug probucol extended life to as long as 60 weeks (mean 36 weeks), and at 5-6 weeks of age, virtually completely reversed the cardiac and most RBC pathologies and corrected the unesterified to total cholesterol ratio (0.3) and associated distinctive abnormal lipoprotein morphologies. Manipulation of the timing of administration and withdrawal of probucol could control the onset of death and suggested that critical pathological changes usually occurred in untreated double knockout mice between approximately 3 (weaning) and 5 weeks of age and that probucol delayed heart failure even after development of substantial CHD. The ability of probucol treatment to modulate pathophysiology in the double knockout mice enhances the potential of this murine system for analysis of the pathophysiology of CHD and preclinical testing of new approaches for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2003; 100(12):7283-8. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1237725100 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    Helena E. Miettinen, Helen Rayburn, Monty Krieger
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    ABSTRACT: Mammalian female fertility depends on complex interactions between the ovary and the extraovarian environment (e.g., the hypothalamic-hypophyseal ovarian axis). The role of plasma lipoproteins in fertility was examined using HDL-receptor SR-BI knockout (KO) mice. SR-BI KO females have abnormal HDLs, ovulate dysfunctional oocytes, and are infertile. Fertility was restored when the structure and/or quantity of abnormal HDL was altered by inactivating the apoAI gene or administering the cholesterol-lowering drug probucol. This suggests that abnormal lipoprotein metabolism can cause murine infertility--implying a functional hepatic-ovarian axis--and may contribute to some forms of human female infertility.
    Journal of Clinical Investigation 01/2002; 108(11):1717-22. DOI:10.1172/JCI13288 · 13.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI), which is expressed in the liver and intestine, plays a critical role in cholesterol metabolism in rodents. While hepatic SR-BI expression controls high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol metabolism, intestinal SR-BI has been proposed to facilitate cholesterol absorption. To evaluate further the relevance of SR-BI in the enterohepatic circulation of cholesterol and bile salts, we studied biliary lipid secretion, hepatic sterol content and synthesis, bile acid metabolism, fecal neutral sterol excretion, and intestinal cholesterol absorption in SR-BI knockout mice. SR-BI deficiency selectively impaired biliary cholesterol secretion, without concomitant changes in either biliary bile acid or phospholipid secretion. Hepatic total and unesterified cholesterol contents were slightly increased in SR-BI-deficient mice, while sterol synthesis was not significantly changed. Bile acid pool size and composition, as well as fecal bile acid excretion, were not altered in SR-BI knockout mice. Intestinal cholesterol absorption was somewhat increased and fecal sterol excretion was slightly decreased in SR-BI knockout mice relative to controls. These findings establish the critical role of hepatic SR-BI expression in selectively controlling the utilization of HDL cholesterol for biliary secretion. In contrast, SR-BI expression is not essential for intestinal cholesterol absorption.
    The Journal of Lipid Research 03/2001; 42(2):170-80. DOI:10.1016/S0016-5085(08)80320-4 · 4.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The high density lipoprotein (HDL) receptor SR-BI (scavenger receptor class B type I) mediates the selective uptake of plasma HDL cholesterol by the liver and steroidogenic tissues. As a consequence, SR-BI can influence plasma HDL cholesterol levels, HDL structure, biliary cholesterol concentrations, and the uptake, storage, and utilization of cholesterol by steroid hormone-producing cells. Here we used homozygous null SR-BI knockout mice to show that SR-BI is required for maintaining normal biliary cholesterol levels, oocyte development, and female fertility. We also used SR-BI/apolipoprotein E double homozygous knockout mice to show that SR-BI can protect against early-onset atherosclerosis. Although the mechanisms underlying the effects of SR-BI loss on reproduction and atherosclerosis have not been established, potential causes include changes in (i) plasma lipoprotein levels and/or structure, (ii) cholesterol flux into or out of peripheral tissues (ovary, aortic wall), and (iii) reverse cholesterol transport, as indicated by the significant reduction of gallbladder bile cholesterol levels in SR-BI and SR-BI/apolipoprotein E double knockout mice relative to controls. If SR-BI has similar activities in humans, it may become an attractive target for therapeutic intervention in a variety of diseases.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/1999; 96(16):9322-7. DOI:10.1073/pnas.96.16.9322 · 9.81 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

884 Citations
57.47 Total Impact Points


  • 2003
    • Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
      • Departamento de Gastroenterología
      Santiago, Region Metropolitana de Santiago, Chile
  • 2002–2003
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
      • Department of Biology
      Cambridge, MA, United States