Long-term stable expression of human apolipoprotein A-I mediated by helper-dependent adenovirus gene transfer inhibits atherosclerosis progression and remodels atherosclerotic plaques in a mouse model of familial hypercholesterolemia

L. Maria Belalcazar, Aksam Merched, Boyd Carr, Kazuhiro Oka, Kuang Hua Chen, Lucio Pastore, Arthur Beaudet, Lawrence Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

113 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background - Epidemiologic studies and transgenic mouse experiments indicate that high plasma HDL and apolipoprotein (apo) A-I protect against atherosclerosis. We used helper-dependent adenovirus (HD-Ad) gene transfer to examine the effect of long-term hepatic apoA-I expression on atherosclerotic lesion progression and remodeling in a mouse model of familial hypercholesterolemia. Methods and Results - We treated LDL receptor-deficient (LDLR-/-) mice maintained on a high-cholesterol diet for 6 weeks with either a HD-Ad containing human apoA-I gene (HD-Ad-AI) or saline (control). HD-Ad-AI treatment did not affect plasma liver enzymes but induced the appearance of plasma human apoA-I at or above human levels for the duration of the study. Substantial amounts of human apoA-I existed in lipid-free plasma. Compared with controls, HDLs from treated mice were larger and had a greater inhibitory effect on tumor necrosis factor-α-induced vascular cellular adhesion molecule-1 expression in cultured endothelial cells. Twenty-four weeks after injection, aortic atherosclerotic lesion area in saline-treated mice progressed ≈700%; the rate of progression was reduced by >50% by HD-Ad-AI treatment. The lesions in HD-Ad-AI-treated mice contained human apoA-I that colocalized mainly with macrophages; they also contained less lipid, fewer macrophages, and less vascular cellular adhesion molecule-1 immunostaining but more smooth muscle cells (α-actin staining) and collagen. Conclusions - HD-Ad-AI treatment of LDLR-/- mice leads to long-term overexpression of apoA-I, retards atherosclerosis progression, and remodels the lesions to a more stable-appearing phenotype. HD-Ad-mediated transfer of apoA-I may be a useful clinical approach for protecting against atherosclerosis progression and stabilizing atherosclerotic lesions associated with dyslipidemia in human patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2726-2732
Number of pages7
JournalCirculation
Volume107
Issue number21
StatePublished - Jun 3 2003

Keywords

  • Adenovirus
  • Apolipoproteins
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Gene therapy
  • Hypercholesterolemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Long-term stable expression of human apolipoprotein A-I mediated by helper-dependent adenovirus gene transfer inhibits atherosclerosis progression and remodels atherosclerotic plaques in a mouse model of familial hypercholesterolemia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this