Unexpected failure of bile acid malabsorption to stimulate cholesterol synthesis in sitosterolemia with xanthomatosis. Comparison with lovastatin.
We examined the relationship between cholesterol synthesis and high affinity low density lipoprotein (LDL) catabolism in freshly isolated mononuclear leukocytes and plasma sterols and apolipoprotein concentrations in three homozygous and one heterozygous subject with sitosterolemia with xanthomatosis and in 12 control subjects. Observations in untreated subjects were compared during therapy with lovastatin or interruption of the enterohepatic circulation of bile acids. Plasma cholesterol, plant sterol, and apolipoprotein B concentrations declined more than 50% in the two homozygous sitosterolemic subjects after ileal bypass surgery. In contrast, plasma cholesterol, plant sterol, and apolipoprotein B concentrations remained constant in a homozygous sitosterolemic subject and declined only 7% in a heterozygous sitosterolemic subject during 20 weeks of lovastatin (40 mg/day) treatment compared to a 28% decrease in similarly treated control subjects. Lovastatin treatment decreased cholesterol synthesis more than 60% but did not increase high affinity catabolism of LDL further in the sitosterolemic cells, compared to a more than 20% rise in control mononuclear leukocytes. Conversely, bile acid malabsorption increased cholesterol synthesis 59%, total hydroxymethylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase activity 13%, and receptor-mediated LDL degradation 41% in control cells, but did not stimulate cholesterol synthesis or microsomal HMG-CoA reductase activity in sitosterolemic mononuclear leukocytes although receptor-mediated LDL catabolism rose an additional 26%. These results demonstrate a greater than expected decrease in plasma sterols and apolipoprotein B concentrations in sitosterolemic subjects after stimulation of bile acid synthesis because of the inability to up-regulate cholesterol production. We suggest that bile acid-sequestering drugs or ileal exclusion surgery may be more effective treatments to mobilize accumulated sterol deposits and prevent atherosclerosis in this disease.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association