Abstract 129: Liver-Specific and Intestine-Specific ACAT2 Knockout Mice Are Equally Protected from Diet-Induced Hepatic Cholesterol Accumulation
Acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase 2 (ACAT2) is exclusively expressed in the small intestine and liver. ACAT2 facilitates the movement of cholesterol among tissues by generating cholesteryl ester (CE) for packaging into newly synthesized chylomicrons and very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL). In these studies we investigated whether CE derived from either the intestine or liver would differentially affect hepatic and plasma cholesterol homeostasis. For this purpose, we generated both liver-specific (ACAT2L-/L-) and intestine-specific (ACAT2SI-/SI-) ACAT2 knockout mice, and studied dietary cholesterol-induced hepatic lipid accumulation and hypercholesterolemia. Interestingly, diet-induced accumulation of hepatic CE was similarly decreased in both ACAT2L-/L- and ACAT2SI-/SI- mice, and free cholesterol did not build up in the liver. Compared with control mice, both ACAT2L-/L- and ACAT2SI-/SI- mice had lower levels of plasma VLDL-cholesterol but higher plasma triglycerides. ACAT2SI-/SI- but not ACAT2L-/L- mice had blunted cholesterol absorption. Collectively, both ACAT2L-/L- and ACAT2SI-/SI- mice were equally protected from diet-induced hepatic CE accumulation and hypercholesterolemia. These results suggest that inhibition of either intestinal or hepatic ACAT2 improves atherogenic hyperlipidemia and limits hepatic CE accumulation in mice, indicating that inhibition of ACAT2 expression in either tissue likely would be beneficial for atheroprotection.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.