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Inhibition of acyl-coenzyme A:cholesterol acyltransferase 2 (ACAT2) prevents dietary cholesterol-associated steatosis by enhancing hepatic triglyceride mobilization.


ABSTRACT: Acyl-CoA:cholesterol O-acyl transferase 2 (ACAT2) promotes cholesterol absorption by the intestine and the secretion of cholesteryl ester-enriched very low density lipoproteins by the liver. Paradoxically, mice lacking ACAT2 also exhibit mild hypertriglyceridemia. The present study addresses the unexpected role of ACAT2 in regulation of hepatic triglyceride (TG) metabolism. Mouse models of either complete genetic deficiency or pharmacological inhibition of ACAT2 were fed low fat diets containing various amounts of cholesterol to induce hepatic steatosis. Mice genetically lacking ACAT2 in both the intestine and the liver were dramatically protected against hepatic neutral lipid (TG and cholesteryl ester) accumulation, with the greatest differences occurring in situations where dietary cholesterol was elevated. Further studies demonstrated that liver-specific depletion of ACAT2 with antisense oligonucleotides prevents dietary cholesterol-associated hepatic steatosis both in an inbred mouse model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (SJL/J) and in a humanized hyperlipidemic mouse model (LDLr(-/-), apoB(100/100)). All mouse models of diminished ACAT2 function showed lowered hepatic triglyceride concentrations and higher plasma triglycerides secondary to increased hepatic secretion of TG into nascent very low density lipoproteins. This work demonstrates that inhibition of hepatic ACAT2 can prevent dietary cholesterol-driven hepatic steatosis in mice. These data provide the first evidence to suggest that ACAT2-specific inhibitors may hold unexpected therapeutic potential to treat both atherosclerosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

SUBMITTER: Alger HM 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC2863169 | BioStudies | 2010-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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