Abstract 330: Ezetimibe Prevents Atherogenesis Through Increased Catabolism and Fecal Excretion of LDL-cholesterol and Reduced Atherosclerotic Plaque Inflammation in Apolipoprotein E Knock-out Mice Fed a Paigen Diet
Background: Intestinal cholesterol absorption inhibitor ezetimibe (EZE) added to a statin therapy has demonstrated benefits in the IMPROVE-IT trial by further reducing LDL-cholesterol levels than statin therapy alone. We investigated the mechanisms by which EZE could contribute to cardiovascular events reduction in apolipoprotein E knock-out (apoE ko) mice.
Methods: ApoE ko mice were fed a Paigen diet without (control) or with EZE (7mg/kg/day) for 6 weeks. To evaluate the effects of EZE on LDL-cholesterol metabolism and excretion, a first set of mice was injected intravenously with 3H-cholesteryl oleate labeled human LDL. A second set of mice was used for in vivo SPECT/CT imaging of 99mTc-cAbVCAM1-5, a single domain antibody directed against the Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 (VCAM-1), which was used as a marker of inflamed atherosclerotic plaques. The same mice were sacrificed for autoradiography and histology of aortic atherosclerotic plaques.
Results: Compared with control, EZE treatment for 6 weeks induced a significant 41% and 65% reduction in plasma total cholesterol levels and atherosclerotic plaque area, respectively. After injection of 3H-cholesteryl oleate labeled human LDL, mice treated with EZE showed a 173% higher LDL-cholesteryl ester catabolism (p<0.001 vs. control). At time 96 hours after radiolabeled LDL injection, 3H-tracer hepatic recovery was reduced by 61% with EZE (p<0.001). Meanwhile, LDL-derived 3H-tracer excretion in the feces was increased by 107% in the fecal cholesterol fraction (p<0.001). Similar trends were observed for hepatic cholesterol levels and fecal cholesterol mass excretion, with a 75% reduction and 99% increase with EZE, respectively (both p<0.001).
After intravenous injection of 99mTc-cAbVCAM1-5, mice treated with EZE also showed a significant 52% reduction in aortic uptake, which was confirmed by significant reduction in tracer uptake in ex vivo biodistribution and autoradiography analysis.
Conclusion: EZE promotes anti-atherosclerotic effects through increased LDL-cholesterol catabolism and LDL-derived cholesterol fecal excretion, and reduced inflamed atherosclerotic plaques. These mechanisms may contribute to the benefits of adding EZE to a statin therapy.
Author Disclosures: F. Briand: Employment; Significant; employee of Physiogenex. L. Dumas: None. A. Broisat: None. M. Ahmadi: None. S. Bacot: None. N. Devoogdt: None. L. Riou: None. C. Ghezzi: None. T. Sulpice: Employment; Significant; employee of Physiogenex.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.