Effects of Native and Myeloperoxidase-Modified Apolipoprotein A-I on Reverse Cholesterol Transport and Atherosclerosis in Mice
Objective—Preclinical and clinical studies have shown beneficial effects of infusions of apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I) on atherosclerosis. ApoA-I is also a target for myeloperoxidase-mediated oxidation, leading in vitro to a loss of its ability to promote ABCA1-dependent macrophage cholesterol efflux. Therefore, we hypothesized that myeloperoxidase-mediated ApoA-I oxidation would impair its promotion of reverse cholesterol transport in vivo and the beneficial effects on atherosclerotic plaques.
Approach and Results—ApoA-I−/− or ApoE−/− mice were subcutaneously injected with native human ApoA-I, oxidized human ApoA-I (myeloperoxidase/hydrogen peroxide/chloride treated), or carrier. Although early postinjection (8 hours) levels of total ApoA-I in plasma were similar for native versus oxidized human ApoA-I, native ApoA-I primarily resided within the high-density lipoprotein fraction, whereas the majority of oxidized human ApoA-I was highly cross-linked and not high-density lipoprotein particle associated, consistent with impaired ABCA1 interaction. In ApoA-I−/− mice, ApoA-I oxidation significantly impaired reverse cholesterol transport in vivo. In advanced aortic root atherosclerotic plaques of ApoE−/− mice, native ApoA-I injections led to significant decreases in lipid content, macrophage number, and an increase in collagen content; in contrast, oxidized human ApoA-I failed to mediate these changes. The decrease in plaque macrophages with native ApoA-I was accompanied by significant induction of their chemokine receptor CCR7. Furthermore, only native ApoA-I injections led to a significant reduction of inflammatory M1 and increase in anti-inflammatory M2 macrophage markers in the plaques.
Conclusions—Myeloperoxidase-mediated oxidation renders ApoA-I dysfunctional and unable to (1) promote reverse cholesterol transport, (2) mediate beneficial changes in the composition of atherosclerotic plaques, and (3) pacify the inflammatory status of plaque macrophages.
- Received June 7, 2013.
- Accepted December 30, 2013.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.