CETP Inhibition Improves HDL Function but Leads to Fatty Liver and Insulin Resistance in CETP-Expressing Transgenic Mice on a High-Fat Diet.
ABSTRACT: In clinical trials, inhibition of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) raises HDL cholesterol levels but does not robustly improve cardiovascular outcomes. Approximately two-thirds of trial participants are obese. Lower plasma CETP activity is associated with increased cardiovascular risk in human studies, and protective aspects of CETP have been observed in mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) with regard to metabolic outcomes. To define whether CETP inhibition has different effects depending on the presence of obesity, we performed short-term anacetrapib treatment in chow- and HFD-fed CETP transgenic mice. Anacetrapib raised HDL cholesterol and improved aspects of HDL functionality, including reverse cholesterol transport, and HDL's antioxidative capacity in HFD-fed mice was better than in chow-fed mice. Anacetrapib worsened the anti-inflammatory capacity of HDL in HFD-fed mice. The HDL proteome was markedly different with anacetrapib treatment in HFD- versus chow-fed mice. Despite benefits on HDL, anacetrapib led to liver triglyceride accumulation and insulin resistance in HFD-fed mice. Overall, our results support a physiologic importance of CETP in protecting from fatty liver and demonstrate context selectivity of CETP inhibition that might be important in obese subjects.
Project description:Recently, we showed in APOE*3-Leiden cholesteryl ester transfer protein (E3L.CETP) mice that anacetrapib attenuated atherosclerosis development by reducing (V)LDL cholesterol [(V)LDL-C] rather than by raising HDL cholesterol. Here, we investigated the mechanism by which anacetrapib reduces (V)LDL-C and whether this effect was dependent on the inhibition of CETP. E3L.CETP mice were fed a Western-type diet alone or supplemented with anacetrapib (30 mg/kg body weight per day). Microarray analyses of livers revealed downregulation of the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway (P < 0.001) and predicted downregulation of pathways controlled by sterol regulatory element-binding proteins 1 and 2 (z-scores -2.56 and -2.90, respectively; both P < 0.001). These data suggest increased supply of cholesterol to the liver. We found that hepatic proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (Pcsk9) expression was decreased (-28%, P < 0.01), accompanied by decreased plasma PCSK9 levels (-47%, P < 0.001) and increased hepatic LDL receptor (LDLr) content (+64%, P < 0.01). Consistent with this, anacetrapib increased the clearance and hepatic uptake (+25%, P < 0.001) of [(14)C]cholesteryl oleate-labeled VLDL-mimicking particles. In E3L mice that do not express CETP, anacetrapib still decreased (V)LDL-C and plasma PCSK9 levels, indicating that these effects were independent of CETP inhibition. We conclude that anacetrapib reduces (V)LDL-C by two mechanisms: 1) inhibition of CETP activity, resulting in remodeled VLDL particles that are more susceptible to hepatic uptake; and 2) a CETP-independent reduction of plasma PCSK9 levels that has the potential to increase LDLr-mediated hepatic remnant clearance.
Project description:In almost 30 years since the introduction of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins), no other class of lipid modulators has entered the market. Elevation of high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) via inhibiting cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) is an attractive strategy for reducing the risk of cardiovascular events in high-risk patients. Transfer of triglyceride and cholesteryl ester (CE) between lipoproteins is mediated by CETP; thus inhibition of this pathway can increase the concentration of HDL-C. Torcetrapib was the first CETP inhibitor evaluated in phase III clinical trials. Because of off-target effects, torcetrapib raised blood pressure and increased the concentration of serum aldosterone, leading to higher cardiovascular events and mortality. Torcetrapib showed positive effects on cardiovascular risk especially in patients with a greater increase in HDL-C and apolipoprotein A-1 (apoA-1) levels. The phase III clinical trial of dalcetrapib, the second CETP inhibitor that has entered clinical development, was terminated because of ineffectiveness. Dalcetrapib is a CETP modulator that elevated HDL-C levels but did not reduce the concentration of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). Both heterotypic and homotypic CE transfer between lipoproteins are mediated by some CETP inhibitors, including torcetrapib, anacetrapib, and evacetrapib, while dalcetrapib only affects the heterotypic CE transfer. Dalcetrapib has a chemical structure that is distinct from other CETP inhibitors, with a smaller molecular weight and a lack of trifluoride moieties. Moreover, dalcetrapib is a pro-drug that must be hydrolyzed to a pharmacologically active thiol form. Two other CETP inhibitors, anacetrapib and evacetrapib, are currently undergoing evaluation in phase III clinical trials. Both molecules have shown beneficial effects by increasing HDL-C and decreasing LDL-C concentration. The success of anacetrapib and evacetrapib remains to be confirmed upon the completion of phase III clinical trials in 2017 and 2015, respectively. Generally, the concentration of HDL-C has been considered a biomarker for the activity of CETP inhibitors. However, it is not clear whether a fundamental relationship exists between HDL-C levels and the risk of coronary artery diseases. The most crucial role for HDL is cholesterol efflux capacity in which HDL can reverse transport cholesterol from foam cells in atherosclerotic plaques. In view of the heterogeneity in HDL particle size, charge, and composition, the mere concentration of HDL-C may not be a good surrogate marker for HDL functionality. Recent clinical studies have reported that increased HDL functionality inversely correlates with the development of atherosclerotic plaque. Future development of CETP inhibitors may therefore benefit from the use of biomarkers of HDL functionality.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Xanthohumol is expected to be a potent anti-atherosclerotic agent due to its inhibition of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP). In this study, we hypothesized that xanthohumol prevents atherosclerosis in vivo and used CETP-transgenic mice (CETP-Tg mice) to evaluate xanthohumol as a functional agent.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>Two strains of mice, CETP-Tg and C57BL/6N (wild-type), were fed a high cholesterol diet with or without 0.05% (w/w) xanthohumol ad libitum for 18 weeks. In CETP-Tg mice, xanthohumol significantly decreased accumulated cholesterol in the aortic arch and increased HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) when compared to the control group (without xanthohumol). Xanthohumol had no significant effect in wild-type mice. CETP activity was significantly decreased after xanthohumol addition in CETP-Tg mice compared with the control group and it inversely correlated with HDL-C (%) (P<0.05). Furthermore, apolipoprotein E (apoE) was enriched in serum and the HDL-fraction in CETP-Tg mice after xanthohumol addition, suggesting that xanthohumol ameliorates reverse cholesterol transport via apoE-rich HDL resulting from CETP inhibition.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our results suggest xanthohumol prevents cholesterol accumulation in atherogenic regions by HDL-C metabolism via CETP inhibition leading to apoE enhancement.
Project description:AIMS: Anacetrapib is an orally active and potent inhibitor of CETP in development for the treatment of dyslipidaemia. These studies endeavoured to establish the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of rising single doses of anacetrapib, administered in fasted or fed conditions, and to preliminarily assess the effect of food, age, gender and obesity on the single-dose pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of anacetrapib. METHODS: Safety, tolerability, anacetrapib concentrations and CETP activity were evaluated. RESULTS: Anacetrapib was rapidly absorbed, with peak concentrations occurring at approximately 4 h post-dose and an apparent terminal half-life ranging from approximately 9 to 62 h in the fasted state and from approximately 42 to approximately 83 h in the fed state. Plasma AUC and C(max) appeared to increase in a less than approximately dose-dependent manner in the fasted state, with an apparent plateau in absorption at higher doses. Single doses of anacetrapib markedly and dose-dependently inhibited serum CETP activity with peak effects of approximately 90% inhibition at t(max) and approximately 58% inhibition at 24 h post-dose. An E(max) model best described the plasma anacetrapib concentration vs CETP activity relationship with an EC(50) of approximately 22 nm. Food increased exposure to anacetrapib; up to approximately two-three-fold with a low-fat meal and by up to approximately six-eight fold with a high-fat meal. Anacetrapib pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics were similar in elderly vs young adults, women vs men, and obese vs non-obese young adults. Anacetrapib was well tolerated and was not associated with any meaningful increase in blood pressure. CONCLUSIONS: Whereas food increased exposure to anacetrapib significantly, age, gender and obese status did not meaningfully influence anacetrapib pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.
Project description:Coronary artery bypass grafting is among the most commonly performed of all cardiovascular surgical procedures. However, graft failure due to stenosis reduces the long-term benefit of the intervention. This study asks if elevating plasma high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels by inhibition of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) activity with des-fluoro-anacetrapib, an analog of the CETP inhibitor anacetrapib, prevents vein bypass-induced neointimal hyperplasia. NZW rabbits were placed on a normal chow diet or chow containing 0.14% (wt/wt) des-fluoro-anacetrapib for 6 weeks. Bypass grafting of the jugular vein to the common carotid artery was performed 2 weeks after starting dietary des-fluoro-anacetrapib supplementation. The animals were euthanised 4 weeks post-bypass grafting. Relative to control, dietary supplementation with des-fluoro-anacetrapib reduced plasma CETP activity by 89?±?6.9%, increased plasma apolipoprotein A-I levels by 24?±?5.5%, increased plasma HDL-C levels by 93?±?26% and reduced intimal hyperplasia in the grafted vein by 38?±?6.2%. Des-fluoro-anacetrapib treatment was also associated with decreased bypass grafting-induced endothelial expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), endothelial dysfunction, and smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation in the grafted vein. In conclusion, increasing HDL-C levels by inhibiting CETP activity is associated with inhibition of intimal hyperplasia in grafted veins, reduced inflammatory responses, improved endothelial function, and decreased SMC proliferation.
Project description:Mechanisms underlying changes in HDL composition caused by obesity are poorly defined, partly because mice lack expression of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP), which shuttles triglyceride and cholesteryl ester between lipoproteins. Because menopause is associated with weight gain, altered glucose metabolism, and changes in HDL, we tested the effect of feeding a high-fat diet (HFD) and ovariectomy (OVX) on glucose metabolism and HDL composition in CETP transgenic mice. After OVX, female CETP-expressing mice had accelerated weight gain with HFD-feeding and impaired glucose tolerance by hyperglycemic clamp techniques, compared with OVX mice fed a low-fat diet (LFD). Sham-operated mice (SHAM) did not show HFD-induced weight gain and had less glucose intolerance than OVX mice. Using shotgun HDL proteomics, HFD-feeding in OVX mice had a large effect on HDL composition, including increased levels of apoA2, apoA4, apoC2, and apoC3, proteins involved in TG metabolism. These changes were associated with decreased hepatic expression of SR-B1, ABCA1, and LDL receptor, proteins involved in modulating the lipid content of HDL. In SHAM mice, there were minimal changes in HDL composition with HFD feeding. These studies suggest that the absence of ovarian hormones negatively influences the response to high-fat feeding in terms of glucose tolerance and HDL composition. CETP-expressing mice may represent a useful model to define how metabolic changes affect HDL composition and function.
Project description:Cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) mediates the transfer of HDL cholesteryl esters for triglyceride (TG) in VLDL/LDL. CETP inhibition, with anacetrapib, increases HDL-cholesterol, reduces LDL-cholesterol, and lowers TG levels. This study describes the mechanisms responsible for TG lowering by examining the kinetics of VLDL-TG, apoC-II, apoC-III, and apoE. Mildly hypercholesterolemic subjects were randomized to either placebo (N = 10) or atorvastatin 20 mg/qd (N = 29) for 4 weeks (period 1) followed by 8 weeks of anacetrapib, 100 mg/qd (period 2). Following each period, subjects underwent stable isotope metabolic studies to determine the fractional catabolic rates (FCRs) and production rates (PRs) of VLDL-TG and plasma apoC-II, apoC-III, and apoE. Anacetrapib reduced the VLDL-TG pool on a statin background due to an increased VLDL-TG FCR (29%; P = 0.002). Despite an increased VLDL-TG FCR following anacetrapib monotherapy (41%; P = 0.11), the VLDL-TG pool was unchanged due to an increase in the VLDL-TG PR (39%; P = 0.014). apoC-II, apoC-III, and apoE pool sizes increased following anacetrapib; however, the mechanisms responsible for these changes differed by treatment group. Anacetrapib increased the VLDL-TG FCR by enhancing the lipolytic potential of VLDL, which lowered the VLDL-TG pool on atorvastatin background. There was no change in the VLDL-TG pool in subjects treated with anacetrapib monotherapy due to an accompanying increase in the VLDL-TG PR.
Project description:The mechanism by which cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) activity affects HDL metabolism was investigated using agents that selectively target CETP (dalcetrapib, torcetrapib, anacetrapib). In contrast with torcetrapib and anacetrapib, dalcetrapib requires cysteine 13 to decrease CETP activity, measured as transfer of cholesteryl ester (CE) from HDL to LDL, and does not affect transfer of CE from HDL3 to HDL2. Only dalcetrapib induced a conformational change in CETP, when added to human plasma in vitro, also observed in vivo and correlated with CETP activity. CETP-induced pre-?-HDL formation in vitro in human plasma was unchanged by dalcetrapib ?3 µM and increased at 10 µM. A dose-dependent inhibition of pre-?-HDL formation by torcetrapib and anacetrapib (0.1 to 10 µM) suggested that dalcetrapib modulates CETP activity. In hamsters injected with [³H]cholesterol-labeled autologous macrophages, and given dalcetrapib (100 mg twice daily), torcetrapib [30 mg once daily (QD)], or anacetrapib (30 mg QD), only dalcetrapib significantly increased fecal elimination of both [³H]neutral sterols and [³H]bile acids, whereas all compounds increased plasma HDL-[³H]cholesterol. These data suggest that modulation of CETP activity by dalcetrapib does not inhibit CETP-induced pre-?-HDL formation, which may be required to increase reverse cholesterol transport.
Project description:According to the current dogma, cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) decreases high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol (C) and increases low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-C. However, detailed insight into the effects of CETP on lipoprotein subclasses is lacking. Therefore, we used a Mendelian randomization approach based on a genetic score for serum CETP concentration (rs247616, rs12720922 and rs1968905) to estimate causal effects per unit (µg/mL) increase in CETP on 159 standardized metabolic biomarkers, primarily lipoprotein subclasses. Metabolic biomarkers were measured by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) in 5672 participants of the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity (NEO) study. Higher CETP concentrations were associated with less large HDL (largest effect XL-HDL-C, P?=?6?×?10-22) and more small VLDL components (largest effect S-VLDL cholesteryl esters, P?=?6?×?10-6). No causal effects were observed with LDL subclasses. All these effects were replicated in an independent cohort from European ancestry (MAGNETIC NMR GWAS; n ~20,000). Additionally, we assessed observational associations between ELISA-measured CETP concentration and metabolic measures. In contrast to results from Mendelian randomization, observationally, CETP concentration predominantly associated with more VLDL, IDL and LDL components. Our results show that CETP is an important causal determinant of HDL and VLDL concentration and composition, which may imply that the CETP inhibitor anacetrapib decreased cardiovascular disease risk through specific reduction of small VLDL rather than LDL. The contrast between genetic and observational associations might be explained by a high capacity of VLDL, IDL and LDL subclasses to carry CETP, thereby concealing causal effects on HDL.
Project description:Inhibition of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) increases HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) levels. However, the circulating CETP level varies and the impact of its inhibition in species with high CETP levels on HDL structure and function remains poorly characterized. This study investigated the effects of dalcetrapib and anacetrapib, the two CETP inhibitors (CETPis) currently being tested in large clinical outcome trials, on HDL particle subclass distribution and cholesterol efflux capacity of serum in rabbits and monkeys. New Zealand White rabbits and vervet monkeys received dalcetrapib and anacetrapib. In rabbits, CETPis increased HDL-C, raised small and large ?-migrating HDL, and increased ABCA1-induced cholesterol efflux. In vervet monkeys, although anacetrapib produced similar results, dalcetrapib caused opposite effects because the LDL-C level was increased by 42% and HDL-C decreased by 48% (P < 0.01). The levels of ?- and pre?-HDL were reduced by 16% (P < 0.001) and 69% (P < 0.01), resulting in a decrease of the serum cholesterol efflux capacity. CETPis modulate the plasma levels of mature and small HDL in vivo and consequently the cholesterol efflux capacity. The opposite effects of dalcetrapib in different species indicate that its impact on HDL metabolism could vary greatly according to the metabolic environment.