Osteopontin deficiency ameliorates Alport pathology by preventing tubular metabolic deficits.
ABSTRACT: Alport syndrome is a rare hereditary renal disorder with no etiologic therapy. We found that osteopontin (OPN) is highly expressed in the renal tubules of the Alport mouse and plays a causative pathological role. OPN genetic deletion ameliorated albuminuria, hypertension, tubulointerstitial proliferation, renal apoptosis, and hearing and visual deficits in the Alport mouse. In Alport renal tubules we found extensive cholesterol accumulation and increased protein expression of dynamin-3 (DNM3) and LDL receptor (LDLR) in addition to dysmorphic mitochondria with defective bioenergetics. Increased pathological cholesterol influx was confirmed by a remarkably increased uptake of injected DiI-LDL cholesterol by Alport renal tubules, and by the improved lifespan of the Alport mice when crossed with the Ldlr-/- mice with defective cholesterol influx. Moreover, OPN-deficient Alport mice demonstrated significant reduction of DNM3 and LDLR expression. In human renal epithelial cells, overexpressing DNM3 resulted in elevated LDLR protein expression and defective mitochondrial respiration. Our results suggest a potentially new pathway in Alport pathology where tubular OPN causes DNM3- and LDLR-mediated enhanced cholesterol influx and impaired mitochondrial respiration.
Project description:To evaluate whether the relative atherogenicity of VLDL and LDL is dependent on the topographic site, atherosclerosis was compared at four topographic sites in homozygous LDL receptor (LDLr)-deficient rabbits fed normal chow and in heterozygous LDLr-deficient rabbits with the same genetic background fed a 0.15% cholesterol diet to match cholesterol levels. VLDL cholesterol was significantly higher and LDL cholesterol significantly lower in LDLr(+/-) diet rabbits compared with LDLr(-/-) rabbits. Intimal area in the ascending thoracic aorta and in the abdominal aorta at the level of the renal arteries was 1.4-fold (P < 0.05) and 1.5-fold (P < 0.05) higher, respectively, in LDLr(-/-) rabbits than in LDLr(+/-) diet rabbits, whereas no significant difference occurred in the descending thoracic aorta and in the abdominal aorta just above the bifurcation. Differences remained statistically significant after adjustment for plasma cholesterol, triglycerides, and sex. Compared with LDLr(+/-) diet rabbits, higher intimal lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and apolipoprotein (apo) B levels were observed in LDLr(-/-) rabbits only at the level of the descending thoracic aorta. Intimal apo E levels in LDLr(-/-) rabbits were significantly lower in sites with a larger intima than in LDLr(+/-) diet rabbits. In conclusion, the relative atherogenicity of VLDL and LDL is dependent on the topographic site.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Evolocumab, a PCSK9 (proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9)-neutralizing antibody, lowers low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in homozygous familial hypercholesterolemic (HoFH) patients with reduced LDLR (low-density lipoprotein receptor) function. However, their individual responses are highly variable, even among carriers of identical LDLR genetic defects. We aimed to elucidate why HoFH patients variably respond to PCSK9 inhibition. APPROACH AND RESULTS:Lymphocytes were isolated from 22 HoFH patients enrolled in the TAUSSIG trial (Trial Assessing Long Term Use of PCSK9 Inhibition in Subjects With Genetic LDL Disorders). Ten patients were true homozygotes (FH1/FH1) and 5 identical compound heterozygotes (FH1/FH2). Lymphocytes were plated with or without mevastatin, recombinant PCSK9 (rPCSK9), or a PCSK9-neutralizing antibody. Cell surface LDLR expression was analyzed by flow cytometry. All HoFH lymphocytes had reduced cell surface LDLR expression compared with non-FH lymphocytes, for each treatment modality. Lymphocytes from FH1/FH2 patients (LDLR defective/negative) displayed the lowest LDLR expression levels followed by lymphocytes from FH1/FH1 patients (defective/defective). Mevastatin increased, whereas rPCSK9 reduced LDLR expression. The PCSK9-neutralizing antibody restored LDLR expression. Lymphocytes displaying higher LDLR expression levels were those isolated from patients presenting with lowest levels of LDL-C and apolipoprotein B, before and after 24 weeks of evolocumab treatment. These negative correlations remained significant in FH1/FH1 patients and appeared more pronounced when patients with apolipoprotein E3/E3 genotypes were analyzed separately. Significant positive correlations were found between the levels of LDLR expression and the percentage reduction in LDL-C on evolocumab treatment. CONCLUSIONS:Residual LDLR expression in HoFH is a major determinant of LDL-C levels and seems to drive their individual response to evolocumab.
Project description:Elevated plasma LDL cholesterol is the dominant risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Deficiency in the LDL receptor (LDLR) is a major cause of familial hypercholesterolemia in humans, and the LDLR knockout mouse is a major animal model of atherosclerosis. Here we report the generation and characterization of an ldlr mutant zebrafish as a new animal model to study hypercholesterolemia and vascular lipid accumulation, an early event in the development of human atherosclerosis. The ldlr mutant zebrafish were characterized by activated SREBP-2 pathway and developed moderate hypercholesterolemia when fed a normal diet. However, a short-term, 5-day feeding of ldlr mutant larvae with a high-cholesterol diet (HCD) resulted in exacerbated hypercholesterolemia and accumulation of vascular lipid deposits. Lomitapide, an inhibitor of apoB lipoprotein secretion, but not the antioxidant probucol, significantly reduced accumulation of vascular lipid deposits in HCD-fed ldlr mutant larvae. Furthermore, ldlr mutants were defective in hepatic clearance of lipopolysaccharides, resulting in reduced survival. Taken together, our data suggest that the ldlr knockout zebra-fish is a versatile model for studying the function of the LDL receptor, hypercholesterolemia, and related vascular pathology in the context of early atherosclerosis.
Project description:Previous studies have shown that mice with defects in cellular cholesterol efflux show hematopoietic stem cell (HSPC) and myeloid proliferation, contributing to atherogenesis. We hypothesized that the combination of hypercholesterolemia and defective cholesterol efflux would promote HSPC expansion and leukocytosis more prominently than either alone. We crossed Ldlr(-/-) with Apoa1(-/-) mice and found that compared to Ldlr(-/-) mice, Ldlr(-/-)/Apoa1(+/-) mice, with similar LDL-cholesterol levels but reduced HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) levels, had expansion of HSPCs, monocytosis and neutrophilia. Ex vivo studies showed that HSPCs expressed high levels of Ldlr, Scarb1 (Srb1), and Lrp1 and were able to take up both native and oxidized LDL. Native LDL directly stimulated HSPC proliferation, while co-incubation with reconstituted HDL attenuated this effect. We also assessed the impact of HDL-C levels on monocytes in children with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) (n = 49) and found that subjects with the lowest level of HDL-C, had increased monocyte counts compared to the mid and higher HDL-C levels. Overall, HDL-C was inversely correlated with the monocyte count. These data suggest that in mice, a balance of cholesterol uptake and efflux mechanisms may be one factor in driving HSPC proliferation and monocytosis. Higher monocyte counts in children with FH and low HDL-cholesterol suggest a similar pattern in humans.
Project description:Studies suggest that altered renal lipid metabolism plays a role in the pathogenesis of diabetic kidney disease and that genetic or pharmacological induction of cholesterol efflux protects from the development of diabetic kidney disease and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). Here we tested whether altered lipid metabolism contributes to renal failure in the Col4a3 knockout mouse model for Alport Syndrome. There was an eight-fold increase in the cholesterol content in renal cortexes of mice with Alport Syndrome. This was associated with increased glomerular lipid droplets and cholesterol crystals. Treatment of mice with Alport Syndrome with hydroxypropyl-?-cyclodextrin (HP?CD) reduced cholesterol content in the kidneys of mice with Alport Syndrome and protected from the development of albuminuria, renal failure, inflammation and tubulointerstitial fibrosis. Cholesterol efflux and trafficking-related genes were primarily affected in mice with Alport Syndrome and were differentially regulated in the kidney cortex and isolated glomeruli. HP?CD also protected from proteinuria and mesangial expansion in a second model of non-metabolic kidney disease, adriamycin-induced nephropathy. Consistent with our experimental findings, microarray analysis confirmed dysregulation of several lipid-related genes in glomeruli isolated from kidney biopsies of patients with primary FSGS enrolled in the NEPTUNE study. Thus, lipid dysmetabolism occurs in non-metabolic glomerular disorders such as Alport Syndrome and FSGS, and HP?CD improves renal function in experimental Alport Syndrome and FSGS.
Project description:Alport syndrome is caused by mutations in collagen IV that alter the morphology of renal glomerular basement membrane. Mutations result in proteinuria, tubulointerstitial fibrosis, and renal failure but the pathogenic mechanisms are not fully understood. Using imaging mass spectrometry, we aimed to determine whether the spatial and/or temporal patterns of renal lipids are perturbed during the development of Alport syndrome in the mouse model. Our results show that most sulfatides are present at similar levels in both the wild-type (WT) and the Alport kidneys, with the exception of two specific sulfatide species, SulfoHex-Cer(d18:2/24:0) and SulfoHex-Cer(d18:2/16:0). In the Alport but not in WT kidneys, the levels of these species mirror the previously described abnormal laminin expression in Alport syndrome. The presence of these sulfatides in renal tubules but not in glomeruli suggests that this specific aberrant lipid pattern may be related to the development of tubulointerstitial fibrosis in Alport disease.
Project description:BACKGROUND: GWAS have consistently revealed that LDLR locus variability influences LDL-cholesterol in general population. Severe LDLR mutations are responsible for familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). However, most primary hypercholesterolemias are polygenic diseases. Although Cis-regulatory regions might be the cause of LDL-cholesterol variability; an extensive analysis of the LDLR distal promoter has not yet been performed. We hypothesized that genetic variants in this region are responsible for the LDLR association with LDL-cholesterol found in GWAS. METHODS: Four-hundred seventy-seven unrelated subjects with polygenic hypercholesterolemia (PH) and without causative FH-mutations and 525 normolipemic subjects were selected. A 3103 pb from LDLR (-625 to +2468) was sequenced in 125 subjects with PH. All subjects were genotyped for 4 SNPs (rs17242346, rs17242739, rs17248720 and rs17249120) predicted to be potentially involved in transcription regulation by in silico analysis. EMSA and luciferase assays were carried out for the rs17248720 variant. Multivariable linear regression analysis using LDL-cholesterol levels as the dependent variable were done in order to find out the variables that were independently associated with LDL-cholesterol. RESULTS: The sequencing of the 125 PH subjects did not show variants with minor allele frequency???10%. The T-allele from g.3131C?>?T (rs17248720) had frequencies of 9% (PH) and 16.4% (normolipemic), p?<?0.00001. Studies of this variant with EMSA and luciferase assays showed a higher affinity for transcription factors and an increase of 2.5 times in LDLR transcriptional activity (T-allele vs C-allele). At multivariate analysis, this polymorphism with the lipoprotein(a) and age explained???10% of LDL-cholesterol variability. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that the T-allele at the g.3131 T?>?C SNP is associated with LDL-cholesterol levels, and explains part of the LDL-cholesterol variability. As a plausible cause, the T-allele produces an increase in LDLR transcriptional activity and lower LDL-cholesterol levels.
Project description:Cellular cholesterol levels reflect a balance between uptake, efflux, and endogenous synthesis. Here we show that the sterol-responsive nuclear liver X receptor (LXR) helps maintain cholesterol homeostasis, not only through promotion of cholesterol efflux but also through suppression of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) uptake. LXR inhibits the LDL receptor (LDLR) pathway through transcriptional induction of Idol (inducible degrader of the LDLR), an E3 ubiquitin ligase that triggers ubiquitination of the LDLR on its cytoplasmic domain, thereby targeting it for degradation. LXR ligand reduces, whereas LXR knockout increases, LDLR protein levels in vivo in a tissue-selective manner. Idol knockdown in hepatocytes increases LDLR protein levels and promotes LDL uptake. Conversely, adenovirus-mediated expression of Idol in mouse liver promotes LDLR degradation and elevates plasma LDL levels. The LXR-Idol-LDLR axis defines a complementary pathway to sterol response element-binding proteins for sterol regulation of cholesterol uptake.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia is a rare disease usually caused by LDLR (low-density lipoprotein receptor) mutations. Homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia is characterized by markedly elevated LDL-C (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol) levels and an extremely high risk of premature atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. A phase 2, proof-of-concept study (NCT02265952) demonstrated that evinacumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody to ANGPTL3 (angiopoietin-like 3 protein), reduced LDL-C levels in 9 patients with genotypically confirmed homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia and was well tolerated. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of evinacumab on LDLR activity in lymphocytes purified from patients in the proof-of-concept study. Approach and Results: LDLR activity was assessed in patient lymphocytes before and after treatment with evinacumab and versus lymphocytes carrying wild-type LDLR, and also in an LDLR-defective Chinese hamster ovary cell line (CHO-ldlA7) transfected with plasmids encoding the LDLR variants. Overall mean peak reduction in LDL-C with evinacumab was -58±18%, occurring between Week 4 and Week 12. Mutations identified in the 9 patients were shown to be pathogenic, with loss of LDLR activity versus wild type. Two of the LDLR variants, p.(Cys681*) and p.(Ala627Profs*38), were class 2 type mutations that are retained in the endoplasmic reticulum. Six variants were class 3 type mutations with impaired LDL-C binding activity: p.(Trp87Gly), occurring in 2 patients, p.(Gln254Pro), p.(Ser177Leu), p.(Gly335Val), and p.(Ser306Leu). Evinacumab had no effect on LDLR activity. CONCLUSIONS:These results suggest that evinacumab is effective for lowering LDL-C in patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, and the inhibition of ANGPTL3 in humans lowers LDL-C in a mechanism independent of the LDLR.
Project description:Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is the most common genetic disease caused by variants in LDLR, APOB, PCSK9 genes; it is characterized by high levels of LDL-cholesterol and premature cardiovascular disease. We aim to perform a retrospective analysis of a genetically screened population (528 unrelated patients-342 adults and 186 children) to evaluate the biochemical and clinical correlations with the different genetic statuses. Genetic screening was performed by traditional sequencing and some patients were re-analyzed by next-generation-sequencing. Pathogenic variants, mainly missense in the LDLR gene, were identified in 402/528 patients (76.1%), including 4 homozygotes, 17 compound heterozygotes and 1 double heterozygotes. A gradual increase of LDL-cholesterol was observed from patients without pathogenic variants to patients with a defective variant, to patients with a null variant and to patients with two variants. Six variants accounted for 51% of patients; a large variability of LDL-cholesterol was observed among patients carrying the same variant. The frequency of pathogenic variants gradually increased from unlikely FH to definite FH, according to the Dutch Lipid Clinic Network criteria. Genetic diagnosis can help prognostic evaluation of FH patients, discriminating between the different genetic statuses or variant types. Clinical suspicion of FH should be considered even if few symptoms are present or if LDL-cholesterol is only mildly increased.