- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Herein we describe a 69-year-old Japanese man with massive type III hyperlipoproteinemia (HL) (total cholesterol, 855 mg/dl; triglyceride, 753 mg/dl) presenting as a paraneoplastic manifestation of hepatitis B virus-associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The mRNA expression of sterol-regulatory element binding protein (SREBP)-2 and proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin 9 (PCSK9) in the tumor tissue was increased by 13-fold and 4-fold, respectively, compared with the non-tumor tissue. Serum level of active form of PCSK9 was 382 ng/ml (reference range: 253 ± 79 ng/ml). The non-tumor tissue had extremely low expression of LDL receptor and LDL receptor related protein 1 (LRP1) proteins. Together we speculate that marked overexpression of SREBP-2 in the tumor may stimulate the secretion of PCSK9, which inhibits the lipoprotein receptors in the non-tumor tissue, thereby causing paraneoplastic HL.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Squalene synthase (SS) catalyzes the biosynthesis of squalene, the first specific intermediate in the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway. To test the feasibility of lowering plasma cholesterol by inhibiting hepatic SS, we generated mice in which SS is specifically knocked out in the liver (L-SSKO) using Cre-loxP technology. Hepatic SS activity of L-SSKO mice was reduced by more than 90%. In addition, cholesterol biosynthesis in the liver slices was almost eliminated. Although the hepatic squalene contents were markedly reduced in L-SSKO mice, the hepatic contents of cholesterol and its precursors distal to squalene were indistinguishable from those of control mice, indicating the presence of sufficient centripetal flow of cholesterol and/or its precursors from the extrahepatic tissues. L-SSKO mice showed a transient liver dysfunction with moderate hepatomegaly presumably secondary to increased farnesol production. In a fed state, the plasma total cholesterol and triglyceride were significantly reduced in L-SSKO mice, primarily owing to reduced hepatic VLDL secretion. In a fasted state, the hypolipidemic effect was lost. mRNA expression of liver X receptor (LXR)-α target genes were reduced, while that of SREBP-2 target genes were increased. In conclusion, liver-specific ablation of SS inhibits hepatic cholesterol biosynthesis and induces hypolipidemia without increasing significant mortality. Copyright © 2015, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The management of severe insulin resistance during pregnancy is challenging because of the increased risk of perinatal complications for both mother and fetus. We describe two consecutive pregnancies in a patient with severe insulin resistance caused by a mutation in the β subunit of the insulin receptor. A non-obese Japanese woman was diagnosed as having diabetes mellitus during her first pregnancy at age 31 years. She presented at 6 weeks' gestation with a fasting plasma glucose concentration of 15.1 mmol/l and an HbA1c level of 95 mmol/mol (10.8%). Fasting insulin concentration was high at 68.8 μU/ml, suggesting severe insulin resistance. Anti-insulin and insulin-receptor antibodies were both negative. Genetic analysis revealed an in-frame heterozygous deletion mutation (∆Leu(999) ) in the insulin receptor gene. Despite large daily doses (up to 480 units per day) of insulin aspart and isophane, the patient's postprandial plasma glucose level exceeded 11.1mmol/l. In the patient's second pregnancy, the addition of metformin at a dose of 2250 mg per day achieved tighter glycaemic control, with lower doses of insulin lispro and isophane (up to 174 units/day). Both newborns, who were found to carry the same mutation, were small for gestational age and developed transient hypoglycaemia after birth. Adding metformin to the conventional insulin regimen effectively achieved tight glycaemic control with a lower dose of insulin. The mutation of the insulin receptor gene might underlie the intrauterine growth retardation of the newborns. To our knowledge, this is the first report of successful management of diabetes mellitus in a pregnant woman with type A insulin resistance syndrome. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 31-year-old woman with treatment-resistant pregnancy-induced hypertension during her first pregnancy delivered a small-for-gestational-age infant (weight: 1,070 g). After delivery, she was diagnosed with primary aldosteronism (PA) associated with a left adrenal adenoma. Following a thorough examination, she underwent laparoscopic left adrenalectomy, and the diagnosis of an aldosterone-producing adenoma was confirmed based on a pathological examination. Thereafter, the patient's hypertension and hypokalemia completely disappeared. She became pregnant again and successfully delivered her second infant at the 37th week of gestation (weight: 2,720 g) without developing treatment-resistant hypertension. Secondary causes of hypertension should not be overlooked, even in young pregnant women.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An excess of cholesterol and/or oxysterols induces apoptosis in macrophages, contributing to the development of advanced atherosclerotic lesions. In foam cells, these sterols are stored in esterified forms, which are hydrolyzed by two enzymes: neutral cholesterol ester hydrolase 1 (Nceh1) and hormone-sensitive lipase (Lipe). A deficiency in either enzyme leads to accelerated growth of atherosclerotic lesions in mice. However, it is poorly understood how the esterification and hydrolysis of sterols are linked to apoptosis. Remarkably Nceh1-deficient thioglycollate-elicited peritoneal macrophages (TGEMs), but not Lipe-deficient TGEMs, were more susceptible to apoptosis induced by oxysterols, particularly 25-hydroxycholesterol (25-HC), and incubation with 25-HC caused massive accumulation of 25-HC ester in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) due to its defective hydrolysis, thereby activating ER stress signaling such as induction of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-homologous protein (CHOP). These changes were nearly reversed by inhibition of ACAT1. In conclusion, deficiency of Nceh1 augments 25-HC-induced ER stress and subsequent apoptosis in TGEMs. In addition to reducing the cholesteryl ester content of foam cells, Nceh1 may protect against the pro-apoptotic effect of oxysterols and modulate the development of atherosclerosis.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hydrolysis of intra-cellular cholesteryl ester (CE) is the rate-limiting step in the efflux of cholesterol from macrophage foam cells. In mouse peritoneal macrophages (MPMs), this process is thought to involve several enzymes: hormone-sensitive lipase (Lipe), carboxylesterase 3 (Ces3), neutral CE hydrolase 1 (Nceh1). However, there is some disagreement over the relative contributions of these enzymes. To solve this problem, we first compared the abilities of several compounds to inhibit the hydrolysis of CE in cells overexpressing Lipe, Ces3 or Nceh1. Cells overexpressing Ces3 had negligible neutral CE hydrolase activity. We next examined the effects of these inhibitors on the hydrolysis of CE and subsequent cholesterol trafficking in MPMs. CE accumulation was increased by a selective inhibitor of Nceh1, paraoxon and two non-selective inhibitors of Nceh1, (+)-AS115 and (-)-AS115, but not by two Lipe-selective inhibitors, orlistat and 76-0079. Paraoxon inhibited cholesterol efflux to apolipoprotein A-I or HDL, while 76-0079 did not. These results suggest that Nceh1 plays a dominant role over Lipe in the hydrolysis of CE and subsequent cholesterol efflux in MPMs.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Postprandial hyperglycemia and/or hyperlipidemia can contribute to development of atherosclerosis in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The objective of this study was to compare the effects of miglitol and sitagliptin on postprandial glucose and lipid metabolism in patients with T2DM. Thirty-five patients with T2DM were randomized to 2 groups receiving miglitol (150 mg/day) or sitagliptin (50 mg/day). Serum variables related to glucose and lipid metabolism were measured before and after treatment for 10 weeks and at 0, 60, and 120 min using a cookie-loading test (CLT). After 10 weeks of treatment, miglitol (n = 16) and sitagliptin (n = 18) caused a similarly significant decrease in hemoglobin A1c (mean: 7.6% to 7.3% versus 8.0% to 7.6%) and a significant increase in fasting insulin levels, with a greater increase observed in the miglitol group than in the sitagliptin group (p=0.03). In addition, a significant decrease in the change in glucose levels after the CLT was observed in both groups, with a greater decrease observed in the miglitol group than in the sitagliptin group (p=0.02). The miglitol group also showed a greater decrease in the change in insulin levels after the CLT than the sitagliptin group (p<0.01). The lipid and lipoprotein levels did not show any significant differences between the groups after the CLT. Our results suggested that miglitol and sitagliptin treatment resulted in similar glycemic control but that a greater decrease in postprandial glucose and insulin levels was observed with miglitol compared with sitagliptin in patients with T2DM.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of macrophage lipoprotein lipase (LpL) in the development of atherosclerosis and adiposity was examined in macrophage LpL knockout (MLpLKO) mice. MLpLKO mice were generated using cre-loxP gene targeting. Loss of LpL in macrophages did not alter plasma LpL activity or lipoprotein levels. Incubation of apolipoprotein E (ApoE)-deficient β-VLDL with peritoneal macrophages from ApoE knockout mice lacking macrophage LpL (MLpLKO/ApoEKO) led to less cholesteryl ester formation than that found with ApoEKO macrophages. MLpLKO/ApoEKO macrophages had reduced intracellular triglyceride levels, with decreased CD36 and carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 mRNA levels compared to ApoEKO macrophages, when incubated with VLDL. Although both MLpLKO/ApoEKO and ApoEKO mice developed comparable hypercholesterolemia in response to feeding with a Western-type diet for 12 weeks, atherosclerosis was less in MLpLKO/ApoEKO mice. Epididymal fat mass and gene expression levels associated with inflammation did not differ between the two groups. In conclusion, macrophage LpL plays an important role in the development of atherosclerosis, but not adiposity.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To address the effects of ezetimibe on high-density lipoprotein (HDL) metabolism, the HDL subclasses, cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP), and lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) were measured in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Twenty-three hypercholesterolemic patients with T2DM were treated with 10 mg of ezetimibe daily for 12 weeks. Plasma total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol (C), HDL-C, HDL(2)-C, HDL(3)-C, CETP mass, and LCAT activity were measured. HDL-C and HDL(2)-C increased by 5% (p<0.05) and 12% (p<0.01), respectively, in response to ezetimibe. Of the 23 patients, 21 had decreased CETP mass, which led to an average reduction of 20% (p<0.0001). LCAT activity also decreased by 6% (p<0.01). A significant positive correlation was found in the changes from baseline between HDL(2)-C and CETP mass, whereas a significant inverse relationship was observed between HDL(3)-C and CETP mass. Furthermore, the change in HDL-C was positively correlated with the change in LCAT activity. In conclusion, ezetimibe may affect HDL metabolism and reverse cholesterol transport, especially CETP, in T2DM. These observations may provide some insights into how ezetimibe prevents atherosclerosis.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase (HMGCR) catalyzes the rate-limiting step in cholesterol biosynthesis and has proven to be an effective target of lipid-lowering drugs, statins. The aim of this study was to understand the role of hepatic HMGCR in vivo. To disrupt the HMGCR gene in liver, we generated mice homozygous for a floxed HMGCR allele and heterozygous for a transgene encoding Cre recombinase under the control of the albumin promoter (liver-specific HMGCR knockout mice). Ninety-six percent of male and 71% of female mice died by 6 weeks of age, probably as a result of liver failure or hypoglycemia. At 5 weeks of age, liver-specific HMGCR knockout mice showed severe hepatic steatosis with apoptotic cells, hypercholesterolemia, and hypoglycemia. The hepatic steatosis and death were completely reversed by providing the animals with mevalonate, indicating its essential role in normal liver function. There was a modest decrease in hepatic cholesterol synthesis in liver-specific HMGCR knockout mice. Instead, they showed a robust increase in the fatty acid synthesis, independent of sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c. Hepatocyte HMGCR is essential for the survival of mice, and its abrogation elicits hepatic steatosis with jaundice and hypoglycemia.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inhibiting 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase (HMGCR), the rate-limiting enzyme in the cholesterol biosynthesis, is the most effective way to lower plasma cholesterol level. Accumulating evidence has suggested that HMGCR inhibitor, statin, inhibits the occurrence of coronary heart diseases via a pathway independent of cholesterol-lowering. Besides anti-inflammation, a wide variety of effects on the arterial wall cells have been proposed to mediate the pleiotropic effects. However, little is known about its effects on monocyte/macrophages, especially in in vivo setting. To address this, we have generated mice lacking HMGCR in macrophage-specific manner (M-HMGCRKO) by crossing mice overexperssing Cre recombinase under the promoter of lysozyme to floxed HMGCR mice (HMGCRfl/fl). Southern blot analysis showed, 50% of HMGCR gene was disrupted in peritoneal macrophages (p<0.05). mRNA level of HMGCR was reduced to the same degree. Numbers of circulating monocytes were reduced by 45.9% (p<0.001). Adhesiveness of peritoneal macrophages to plastic dish reduced by 32.6% in M-HMGCRKO mice (p<0.05). To examine the effect of the absence of HMGCR in macrophages on the development of atherosclerosis, we generated mice lacking both macrophage HMGCR and LDL receptor (M-HMGCRKO/LDLRKO). After 12 weeks on atherogenic diet, M-HMGCRKO/LDLRKO mice were leaner by 18.7% (p<0.01) and less hypercholesterolemic by 36.6% (p<0.001) than HMGCRfl/fl/LDLRKO mice. The reduced weight was primarily attributable to reduced food intake (-18.7%, p<0.001). M-HMGCRKO/LDLRKO mice developed less atherosclerotic lesions than M-HMGCRfl/fl/LDLRKO mice (cross-section of aortic root: 8.3±3.7 vs. 22.5±6.4%, p<0.0001, and en face of aorta: 17.3±7.5 vs. 55.7±3.5X105 µm2, p<0.0001). The lesion size showed significant positive correlation with body weight (r=0.63, p=0.015), but not with plasma cholesterol levels. In conclusion, genetic disruption of HMGCR in macrophages inhibited the development of atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic mice even though the disruption was partial. In addition to the changes in the numbers and functions of monocyte/macrophage, the metabolic changes might contribute to the alleviation of the atherosclerotic lesion formation.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) is an important enzyme involved in the esterification of cholesterol. Here, we report a novel point mutation in the LCAT gene of a 63-year-old female with characteristics of classic familial LCAT deficiency. The patient's clinical manifestations included corneal opacity, mild anemia, mild proteinuria and normal renal function. She had no sign of coronary heart disease. Her LCAT activity was extremely low. DNA sequencing revealed a point mutation in exon 5 of the LCAT gene: a G to C substitution converting Gly(179) to an Arg, located in one of the catalytic triads of the enzyme. In vitro expression of recombinant LCAT proteins in HEK293 cells showed that the mutant G179R protein was present in the cell lysate, but not the culture medium. LCAT activity was barely detectable in the cell lysate or medium of the cells expressing the G179R mutant. This novel missense mutation seems to cause a complete loss of catalytic activity of LCAT, which is also defective in secretion.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aim: Adipocyte lipolysis is mediated by a family of triglyceride (TG) lipases consisting of hormone-sensitive lipase (LIPE), adipose triglyceride lipase (PNPLA2) and carboxylesterase 1 (CES1); however, little is known about the relationship between the expression of each gene in different depots and TG lipase activity or obesity.Method: We measured both mRNA expression levels of the lipolytic enzymes (LIPE, PNPLA2 and CES1) and TG lipase activities of biopsy samples obtained from subcutaneous, omental and mesenteric adipose tissues of 34 patients who underwent abdominal surgery. The results were correlated with clinical parameters: adiposity measures, parameters for insulin resistance and plasma lipid levels.Results: PNPLA2 mRNA levels were slightly higher in omental fat than subcutaneous fat. Cytosolic TG lipase activities were positively correlated with the mRNA levels of CES1 in subcutaneous fat and mesenteric fat, while they were correlated with those of PNPLA2 in omental fat. The mRNA levels of LIPE were negatively correlated with various measures of adiposity in subcutaneous fat. The mRNA levels of CES1 were positively correlated with various measures of adiposity, particularly those estimated by CT in the three depots; they were also positively correlated with plasma LDL-cholesterol levels in omental fat. In contrast, the mRNA levels of PNPLA2 were not significantly associated with adiposity.Conclusions: The positive correlations of the expression of CES1 with cytosolic TG lipase activities as well as with adiposity suggest that CES1 is involved in lipolysis, thereby contributing to the development of obesity-associated phenotypes. On the other hand, the expression of LIPE is negatively correlated with adiposity. These distinct regulatory patterns of lipolytic genes may underlie the complex phenotypes associated with human obesity.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hydrolysis of intracellular cholesterol ester (CE) is the key step in the reverse cholesterol transport in macrophage foam cells. We have recently shown that neutral cholesterol ester hydrolase (Nceh)1 and hormone-sensitive lipase (Lipe) are key regulators of this process in mouse macrophages. However, it remains unknown which enzyme is critical in human macrophages and atherosclerosis. We aimed to identify the enzyme responsible for the CE hydrolysis in human macrophages and to determine its expression in human atherosclerosis. We compared the expression of NCEH1, LIPE, and cholesterol ester hydrolase (CES1) in human monocyte-derived macrophages (HMMs) and examined the effects of inhibition or overexpression of each enzyme in the cholesterol trafficking. The pattern of expression of NCEH1 was similar to that of neutral CE hydrolase activity during the differentiation of HMMs. Overexpression of human NCEH1 increased the hydrolysis of CE, thereby stimulating cholesterol mobilization from THP-1 macrophages. Knockdown of NCEH1 specifically reduced the neutral CE hydrolase activity. Pharmacological inhibition of NCEH1 also increased the cellular CE in HMMs. In contrast, LIPE was barely detectable in HMMs, and its inhibition did not decrease neutral CE hydrolase activity. Neither overexpression nor knockdown of CES1 affected the neutral CE hydrolase activity. NCEH1 was expressed in CD68-positive macrophage foam cells of human atherosclerotic lesions. NCEH1 is expressed in human atheromatous lesions, where it plays a critical role in the hydrolysis of CE in human macrophage foam cells, thereby contributing to the initial part of reverse cholesterol transport in human atherosclerosis.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adipocyte lipolysis is mediated by a family of triglyceride (TG) lipases consisting of hormone-sensitive lipase (LIPE), adipose triglyceride lipase (PNPLA2) and carboxylesterase 1 (CES1); however, little is known about the relationship between the expression of each gene in different depots and TG lipase activity or obesity. We measured both mRNA expression levels of the lipolytic enzymes (LIPE, PNPLA2 and CES1) and TG lipase activities of biopsy samples obtained from subcutaneous, omental and mesenteric adipose tissues of 34 patients who underwent abdominal surgery. The results were correlated with clinical parameters: adiposity measures, parameters for insulin resistance and plasma lipid levels. PNPLA2 mRNA levels were slightly higher in omental fat than subcutaneous fat. Cytosolic TG lipase activities were positively correlated with the mRNA levels of CES1 in subcutaneous fat and mesenteric fat, while they were correlated with those of PNPLA2 in omental fat. The mRNA levels of LIPE were negatively correlated with various measures of adiposity in subcutaneous fat. The mRNA levels of CES1 were positively correlated with various measures of adiposity, particularly those estimated by CT in the three depots; they were also positively correlated with plasma LDL-cholesterol levels in omental fat. In contrast, the mRNA levels of PNPLA2 were not significantly associated with adiposity. The positive correlations of the expression of CES1 with cytosolic TG lipase activities as well as with adiposity suggest that CES1 is involved in lipolysis, thereby contributing to the development of obesity-associated phenotypes. On the other hand, the expression of LIPE is negatively correlated with adiposity. These distinct regulatory patterns of lipolytic genes may underlie the complex phenotypes associated with human obesity.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) is a recently identified adipokine that was involved in insulin resistance. RBP4 is predominantly expressed from the liver in normal metabolic state to transport retinoids throughout the body, but the exact physiological function and the regulatory mechanisms of adipocyte-derived RBP4 have not been revealed. We conducted the genetic analysis about metabolic parameters in Japanese and Mongolian; the minor allele carriers of regulatory single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP -803G>A) showed significantly higher BMI in Japanese men (P = 0.009) and women (P = 0.017), and in Mongolian women (P = 0.009). Relative quantification of RBP4 transcripts in -803GA heterozygotes showed that the minor allele-linked haplotype-derived mRNA was significantly more abundant than the transcript from major allele. RBP4 promoter assay in 3T3L1 adipocytes revealed that the minor allele increased the promoter activity double to triple and the administration of 9-cis-retinoic acid (RA) and 8-bromo-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (8-Br-cAMP) enhanced the activity. Multiple alignment analysis of human, mouse, rat, and cattle RBP4 promoter suggested conserved seven transcription factor binding motifs. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay showed the -803G>A SNP modulate the affinity against unidentified DNA-binding factor, which was assumed to be a suppressive factor. These results collectively suggested that the minor allele of RBP4 regulatory SNP enhanced the expression in adipocytes, which may be associated with the adipogenesis.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cholesterol ester (CE)-laden macrophage foam cells are the hallmark of atherosclerosis, and the hydrolysis of intracellular CE is one of the key steps in foam cell formation. Although hormone-sensitive lipase (LIPE) and cholesterol ester hydrolase (CEH), which is identical to carboxylsterase 1 (CES1, hCE1), were proposed to mediate the neutral CE hydrolase (nCEH) activity in macrophages, recent evidences have suggested the involvement of other enzymes. We have recently reported the identification of a candidate, neutral cholesterol ester hydrolase 1(Nceh1). Here we demonstrate that genetic ablation of Nceh1 promotes foam cell formation and the development of atherosclerosis in mice. We further demonstrate that Nceh1 and Lipe mediate a comparable degree of nCEH activity in macrophages and together account for most of the activity. Mice lacking both Nceh1 and Lipe aggravated atherosclerosis in an additive manner. Thus, Nceh1 is a promising target for the treatment of atherosclerosis.
Jichi Medical University
Totigi, Tochigi, Japan
- Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism