Increased production of very-low-density lipoproteins in transgenic mice overexpressing human apolipoprotein A-II and fed with a high-fat diet

Josep Julve, Joan Carles Escolà-Gil, Àfrica Marzal-Casacuberta, Jordi Ordóñez-Llanos, Francesc González-Sastre, Francisco Blanco-Vaca

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We investigated the mechanisms that lead to combined hyperlipidemia in transgenic mice that overexpress human apolipoprotein (apo) A-II (line 11.1). The 11.1 transgenic mice develop pronounced hypertriglyceridemia, and a moderate increase in free fatty acid (FFA) and plasma cholesterol, especially when fed a high-fat/high-cholesterol diet. Post-heparin plasma lipoprotein lipase and hepatic lipase activities (using artificial or natural autologous substrates), the decay of plasma triglycerides with fasting, and the fractional catabolic rate of the radiolabeled VLDL-triglyceride (both fasting and postprandial) were similar in 11.1 transgenic mice and in control mice. In contrast, a 2.5-fold increase in hepatic VLDL-triglyceride production was observed in 11.1 transgenic mice in a period of 2 h in which blood lipolysis was inhibited. This increased synthesis of hepatic VLDL-triglyceride used preformed FFA rather than FFA of de novo hepatic synthesis. The 11.1 transgenic mice also presented reduced epididymal/parametrial white adipose tissue weight (1.5-fold), increased rate of epididymal/parametrial hormone-sensitive lipase-mediated lipolysis (1.2-fold) and an increase in cholesterol and, especially, in triglyceride liver content, suggesting an enhanced mobilization of fat as the source of preformed FFA reaching the liver. Increased plasma FFA was reverted by insulin, demonstrating that 11.1 transgenic mice are not insulin resistant. We conclude that the overexpression of human apoA-II in transgenic mice induces combined hyperlipidemia through an increase in VLDL production. These mice will be useful in the study of molecular mechanisms that regulate the overproduction of VLDL, a situation of major pathophysiological interest since it is the basic mechanism underlying familial combined hyperlipidemia. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-244
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2000


  • Apolipoprotein A-II
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Familial combined hyperlipidemia
  • High density lipoprotein
  • VLDL metabolism


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