LCAT deficiency does not impair amyloid metabolism in APP/PS1 mice.
ABSTRACT: A key step in plasma HDL maturation from discoidal to spherical particles is the esterification of cholesterol to cholesteryl ester, which is catalyzed by LCAT. HDL-like lipoproteins in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are also spherical, whereas nascent lipoprotein particles secreted from astrocytes are discoidal, suggesting that LCAT may play a similar role in the CNS. In plasma, apoA-I is the main LCAT activator, while in the CNS, it is believed to be apoE. apoE is directly involved in the pathological progression of Alzheimer's disease, including facilitating ?-amyloid (A?) clearance from the brain, a function that requires its lipidation by ABCA1. However, whether apoE particle maturation by LCAT is also required for A? clearance is unknown. Here we characterized the impact of LCAT deficiency on CNS lipoprotein metabolism and amyloid pathology. Deletion of LCAT from APP/PS1 mice resulted in a pronounced decrease of apoA-I in plasma that was paralleled by decreased apoA-I levels in CSF and brain tissue, whereas apoE levels were unaffected. Furthermore, LCAT deficiency did not increase A? or amyloid in APP/PS1 LCAT(-/-) mice. Finally, LCAT expression and plasma activity were unaffected by age or the onset of Alzheimer's-like pathology in APP/PS1 mice. Taken together, these results suggest that apoE-containing discoidal HDLs do not require LCAT-dependent maturation to mediate efficient A? clearance.
Project description:The K146N/R147W substitutions in apoE3 were described in patients with a dominant form of type III hyperlipoproteinemia. The effects of these mutations on the in vivo functions of apoE were studied by adenovirus-mediated gene transfer in different mouse models. Expression of the apoE3[K146N/R147W] mutant in apoE-deficient (apoE(-/-)) or apoA-I-deficient (apoA-I(-/-))×apoE(-/-) mice exacerbated the hypercholesterolemia and increased plasma apoE and triglyceride levels. In apoE(-/-) mice, the apoE3[K146N/R147W] mutant displaced apoA-I from the VLDL/LDL/HDL region and caused the accumulation of discoidal apoE-containing HDL. The WT apoE3 cleared the cholesterol of apoE(-/-) mice without induction of hypertriglyceridemia and promoted formation of spherical HDL. A unique property of the truncated apoE3[K146N/R147W]202 mutant, compared with similarly truncated apoE forms, is that it did not correct the hypercholesterolemia. The contribution of LPL and LCAT in the induction of the dyslipidemia was studied. Treatment of apoE(-/-) mice with apoE3[K146N/R147W] and LPL corrected the hypertriglyceridemia, but did not prevent the formation of discoidal HDL. Treatment with LCAT corrected hypertriglyceridemia and generated spherical HDL. The combined data indicate that the K146N/R147W substitutions convert the full-length and the truncated apoE3[K146N/R147W] mutant into a dominant negative ligand that prevents receptor-mediated remnant clearance, exacerbates the dyslipidemia, and inhibits the biogenesis of HDL.
Project description:We have investigated the ability of apoE (apolipoprotein E) to participate in the biogenesis of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) particles in vivo using adenovirus-mediated gene transfer in apoA-I-/- (apolipoprotein A-I) or ABCA1-/- (ATP-binding cassette A1) mice. Infection of apoA-I-/- mice with 2x10(9) pfu (plaque-forming units) of an apoE4-expressing adenovirus increased both HDL and the triacylglycerol-rich VLDL (very-low-density lipoprotein)/IDL (intermediate-density lipoprotein)/LDL (low-density lipoprotein) fraction and generated discoidal HDL particles. ABCA1-/- mice treated similarly failed to form HDL particles, suggesting that ABCA1 is essential for the generation of apoE-containing HDL. Combined infection of apoA-I-/- mice with a mixture of adenoviruses expressing both apoE4 (2x10(9) pfu) and human LCAT (lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase) (5x10(8) pfu) cleared the triacylglycerol-rich lipoproteins, increased HDL and converted the discoidal HDL into spherical HDL. Similarly, co-infection of apoE-/- mice with apoE4 and human LCAT corrected the hypercholesterolaemia and generated spherical particles, suggesting that LCAT is essential for the maturation of apoE-containing HDL. Overall, the findings indicate that apoE has a dual functionality. In addition to its documented functions in the clearance of triacylglycerol-rich lipoproteins, it participates in the biogenesis of HDL-sized apoE-containing particles. HDL particles generated by this pathway may account at least for some of the atheroprotective functions of apoE.
Project description:To date there is no effective therapy for Alzheimer disease (AD). High levels of circulating high density lipoprotein (HDL) and its main protein, apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I), reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Clinical studies show that plasma HDL cholesterol and apoA-I levels are low in patients with AD. To investigate if increasing plasma apoA-I/HDL levels ameliorates AD-like memory deficits and amyloid-? (A?) deposition, we generated a line of triple transgenic (Tg) mice overexpressing mutant forms of amyloid-? precursor protein (APP) and presenilin 1 (PS1) as well as human apoA-I (AI). Here we show that APP/PS1/AI triple Tg mice have a 2-fold increase of plasma HDL cholesterol levels. When tested in the Morris water maze for spatial orientation abilities, whereas APP/PS1 mice develop age-related learning and memory deficits, APP/PS1/AI mice continue to perform normally during aging. Interestingly, no significant differences were found in the total level and deposition of A? in the brains of APP/PS1 and APP/PS1/AI mice, but cerebral amyloid angiopathy was reduced in APP/PS1/AI mice. Also, consistent with the anti-inflammatory properties of apoA-I/HDL, glial activation was reduced in the brain of APP/PS1/AI mice. In addition, A?-induced production of proinflammatory chemokines/cytokines was decreased in mouse organotypic hippocampal slice cultures expressing human apoA-I. Therefore, we conclude that overexpression of human apoA-I in the circulation prevents learning and memory deficits in APP/PS1 mice, partly by attenuating neuroinflammation and cerebral amyloid angiopathy. These findings suggest that elevating plasma apoA-I/HDL levels may be an effective approach to preserve cognitive function in patients with AD.
Project description:We previously reported that hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy), an independent risk factor of coronary artery disease (CAD), is associated with increased atherosclerosis and decreased plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) in cystathionine beta-synthase-/apolipoprotein E-deficient (CBS(-/-)/apoE(-/-)) mice. We observed that plasma homocysteine (Hcy) concentrations are negatively correlated with HDL-C and apolipoprotein A1 (apoA-I) in patients with CAD. We found the loss of large HDL particles, increased HDL-free cholesterol, and decreased HDL protein in CBS(-/-)/apoE(-/-) mice, and attenuated cholesterol efflux from cholesterol-loaded macrophages to plasma in CBS(-/-)/apoE(-/-) mice. ApoA-I protein was reduced in the plasma and liver, but hepatic apoA-I mRNA was unchanged in CBS(-/-)/apoE(-/-) mice. Moreover, Hcy (0.5 to 2 mmol/L) reduced the levels of apoA-I protein but not mRNA and inhibited apoA-1 protein synthesis in mouse primary hepatocytes. Further, plasma lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) substrate reactivity was decreased, LCAT specific activity increased, and plasma LCAT protein levels unchanged in apoE(-/-)/CBS(-/-) mice. Finally, the clearance of plasma HDL cholesteryl ester, but not HDL protein, was faster in CBS(-/-)/apoE(-/-) mice, correlated with increased scavenger receptor B1, and unchanged ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 protein expression in the liver. These findings indicate that HHcy inhibits reverse cholesterol transport by reducing circulating HDL via inhibiting apoA-I protein synthesis and enhancing HDL-C clearance.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is defined by amyloid beta (A?) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles and characterized by neurodegeneration and memory loss. The majority of AD patients also have A? deposition in cerebral vessels known as cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), microhemorrhages, and vascular co-morbidities, suggesting that cerebrovascular dysfunction contributes to AD etiology. Promoting cerebrovascular resilience may therefore be a promising therapeutic or preventative strategy for AD. Plasma high-density lipoproteins (HDL) have several vasoprotective functions and are associated with reduced AD risk in some epidemiological studies and with reduced A? deposition and A?-induced inflammation in 3D engineered human cerebral vessels. In mice, deficiency of apoA-I, the primary protein component of HDL, increases CAA and cognitive dysfunction, whereas overexpression of apoA-I from its native promoter in liver and intestine has the opposite effect and lessens neuroinflammation. Similarly, acute peripheral administration of HDL reduces soluble A? pools in the brain and some studies have observed reduced CAA as well. Here, we expand upon the known effects of plasma HDL in mouse models and in vitro 3D artery models to investigate the interaction of amyloid, astrocytes, and HDL on the cerebrovasculature in APP/PS1 mice. METHODS:APP/PS1 mice deficient or hemizygous for Apoa1 were aged to 12?months. Plasma lipids, amyloid plaque deposition, A? protein levels, protein and mRNA markers of neuroinflammation, and astrogliosis were assessed using ELISA, qRT-PCR, and immunofluorescence. Contextual and cued fear conditioning were used to assess behavior. RESULTS:In APP/PS1 mice, complete apoA-I deficiency increased total and vascular A? deposition in the cortex but not the hippocampus compared to APP/PS1 littermate controls hemizygous for apoA-I. Markers of both general and vascular neuroinflammation, including Il1b mRNA, ICAM-1 protein, PDGFR? protein, and GFAP protein, were elevated in apoA-I-deficient APP/PS1 mice. Additionally, apoA-I-deficient APP/PS1 mice had elevated levels of vascular-associated ICAM-1 in the cortex and hippocampus and vascular-associated GFAP in the cortex. A striking observation was that astrocytes associated with cerebral vessels laden with A? or associated with A? plaques showed increased reactivity in APP/PS1 mice lacking apoA-I. No behavioral changes were observed. CONCLUSIONS:ApoA-I-containing HDL can reduce amyloid pathology and astrocyte reactivity to parenchymal and vascular amyloid in APP/PS1 mice.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Soluble beta-amyloid (A?) can be cleared from the brain through various mechanisms including enzymatic degradation, glial cell phagocytosis, transport across the blood-brain barrier, and glymphatic clearance. However, the relative contribution of each clearance system and their compensatory effects in delaying the pathological process of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are currently unknown. METHODS:Fluorescent trace, immunofluorescence, and Western blot analyses were performed to compare glymphatic clearance ability and A? accumulation among 3-month-old APP695/PS1-dE9 transgenic (APP/PS1) mice, wild-type mice, aquaporin 4 knock out (AQP4-/-) mice, and AQP4-/-/APP/PS1 mice. The consequence of selectively eliminating microglial cells, or downregulating apolipoprotein E (apoE) expression, on A? burden, was also investigated in the frontal cortex of AQP4-/-/APP/PS1 mice and APP/PS1 mice. RESULTS:AQP4 deletion in APP/PS1 mice significantly exaggerated glymphatic clearance dysfunction, and intraneuronal accumulation of A? and apoE, although it did not lead to A? plaque deposition. Notably, microglia, but not astrocytes, increased activation and phagocytosis of A? in the cerebral cortex of AQP4-/-/APP/PS1 mice, compared with APP/PS1 mice. Selectively eliminating microglia in the frontal cortex via local injection of clodronate liposomes resulted in deposition of A? plaques in AQP4-/-/APP/PS1 mice, but not APP/PS1 mice. Moreover, knockdown of apoE reduced intraneuronal A? levels in both APP/PS1 mice and AQP4-/-/APP/PS1 mice, indicating an inhibitory effect of apoE on A? clearance. CONCLUSION:The above results suggest that the glymphatic system mediated A? and apoE clearance and microglia mediated A? degradation synergistically prevent A? plague formation in the early stages of the AD mouse model. Protecting one or both of them might be beneficial to delaying the onset of AD.
Project description:We investigated the significance of hydrophobic and charged residues 218-226 on the structure and functions of apoA-I and their contribution to the biogenesis of HDL. Adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of apoA-I[L218A/L219A/V221A/L222A] in apoA-I?/? mice decreased plasma cholesterol and apoA-I levels to 15% of wild-type (WT) control mice and generated pre-?- and ?4-HDL particles. In apoA-I?/? × apoE?/? mice, the same mutant formed few discoidal and pre-?-HDL particles that could not be converted to mature ?-HDL particles by excess LCAT. Expression of the apoA-I[E223A/K226A] mutant in apoA-I?/? mice caused lesser but discrete alterations in the HDL phenotype. The apoA-I[218-222] and apoA-I[E223A/K226A] mutants had 20% and normal capacity, respectively, to promote ABCA1-mediated cholesterol efflux. Both mutants had ?65% of normal capacity to activate LCAT in vitro. Biophysical analyses suggested that both mutants affected in a distinct manner the structural integrity and plasticity of apoA-I that is necessary for normal functions. We conclude that the alteration of the hydrophobic 218-222 residues of apoA-I disrupts apoA-I/ABCA1 interactions and promotes the generation of defective pre-? particles that fail to mature into ?-HDL subpopulations, thus resulting in low plasma apoA-I and HDL. Alterations of the charged 223, 226 residues caused milder but discrete changes in HDL phenotype.
Project description:A hallmark of Alzheimer disease (AD) is the deposition of amyloid ? (A?) in brain parenchyma and cerebral blood vessels, accompanied by cognitive decline. Previously, we showed that human apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) decreases A?(40) aggregation and toxicity. Here we demonstrate that apoA-I in lipidated or non-lipidated form prevents the formation of high molecular weight aggregates of A?(42) and decreases A?(42) toxicity in primary brain cells. To determine the effects of apoA-I on AD phenotype in vivo, we crossed APP/PS1?E9 to apoA-I(KO) mice. Using a Morris water maze, we demonstrate that the deletion of mouse Apoa-I exacerbates memory deficits in APP/PS1?E9 mice. Further characterization of APP/PS1?E9/apoA-I(KO) mice showed that apoA-I deficiency did not affect amyloid precursor protein processing, soluble A? oligomer levels, A? plaque load, or levels of insoluble A? in brain parenchyma. To examine the effect of Apoa-I deletion on cerebral amyloid angiopathy, we measured insoluble A? isolated from cerebral blood vessels. Our data show that in APP/PS1?E9/apoA-I(KO) mice, insoluble A?(40) is increased more than 10-fold, and A?(42) is increased 1.5-fold. The increased levels of deposited amyloid in the vessels of cortices and hippocampi of APP/PS1?E9/apoA-I(KO) mice, measured by X-34 staining, confirmed the results. Finally, we demonstrate that lipidated and non-lipidated apoA-I significantly decreased A? toxicity against brain vascular smooth muscle cells. We conclude that lack of apoA-I aggravates the memory deficits in APP/PS1?E9 mice in parallel to significantly increased cerebral amyloid angiopathy.
Project description:ApoA-I activates LCAT that converts lipoprotein cholesterol to cholesteryl ester (CE). Molecular dynamic simulations suggested earlier that helices 5 of two antiparallel apoA-I molecules on discoidal HDL form an amphipathic tunnel for migration of acyl chains and unesterified cholesterol to the active sites of LCAT. Our recent crystal structure of ?(185-243)apoA-I showed the tunnel formed by helices 5/5, with two positively charged residues arginine 123 positioned at the edge of the hydrophobic tunnel. We hypothesized that these uniquely positioned residues Arg123 are poised for interaction with fatty acids produced by LCAT hydrolysis of the sn-2 chains of phosphatidylcholine, thus positioning the fatty acids for esterification to cholesterol. To test the importance of Arg123 for LCAT phospholipid hydrolysis and CE formation, we generated apoA-I[R123A] and apoA-I[R123E] mutants and made discoidal HDL with the mutants and WT apoA-I. Neither mutation of Arg123 changed the particle composition or size, or the protein conformation or stability. However, both mutations of Arg123 significantly reduced LCAT catalytic efficiency and the apparent Vmax for CE formation without affecting LCAT phospholipid hydrolysis. A control mutation, apoA-I[R131A], did not affect LCAT phospholipid hydrolysis or CE formation. These data suggest that Arg123 of apoA-I on discoidal HDL participates in LCAT-mediated cholesterol esterification.
Project description:We have used adenovirus-mediated gene transfer in apolipoprotein (apo)E(-/-) mice to elucidate the molecular etiology of a dominant form of type III hyperlipoproteinemia (HLP) caused by the R142C substitution in apoE4. It was found that low doses of adenovirus expressing apoE4 cleared cholesterol, whereas comparable doses of apoE4[R142C] greatly increased plasma cholesterol, triglyceride, and apoE levels, caused accumulation of apoE in VLDL/IDL/LDL region, and promoted the formation of discoidal HDL. Co-expression of apoE4[R142C] with lecithin cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) or lipoprotein lipase (LPL) in apoE(-/-) mice partially corrected the apoE4[R142C]-induced dyslipidemia. High doses of C-terminally truncated apoE4[R142C]-202 partially cleared cholesterol in apoE(-/-) mice and promoted formation of discoidal HDL. The findings establish that apoE4[R142C] causes accumulation of apoE in VLDL/IDL/LDL region and affects in vivo the activity of LCAT and LPL, the maturation of HDL, and the clearance of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. The prevention of apoE4[R142C]-induced dyslipidemia by deletion of the 203-299 residues suggests that, in the full-length protein, the R142C substitution may have altered the conformation of apoE bound to VLDL/IDL/LDL in ways that prevent triglyceride hydrolysis, cholesterol esterification, and receptor-mediated clearance in vivo.