Inactivation of Macrophage Scavenger Receptor Class B Type I Promotes Atherosclerotic Lesion Development in Apolipoprotein E-Deficient Mice

Wenwu Zhang, Patricia G. Yancey, Yan Ru Su, Vladimir R. Babaev, Yuomin Zhang, Sergio Fazio, MacRae F. Linton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    173 Scopus citations


    Background - Scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI) is expressed in macrophages, where it has been proposed to facilitate cholesterol efflux. However, direct evidence that the expression of macrophage SR-BI is protective against atherosclerosis is lacking. In this study, we examined the in vivo role of macrophage SR-BI in atherosclerotic lesion development in the apolipoprotein (apo) E-deficient mouse model. Methods and Results - ApoE-deficient mice with (n=16) or without (n=15) expression of macrophage SR-BI were created by transplanting lethally irradiated apoE-deficient mice with bone marrow cells collected from SR-BI-/- apoE-/- mice or SR-BI +/+ apoE-/- mice. The recipient mice were fed a chow diet for 12 weeks after transplantation for analysis of atherosclerosis. Quantification of macrophage SR-BI mRNA by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction indicated successful engraftment of donor bone marrow and inactivation of macrophage SR-BI in recipient mice reconstituted with SR-BI-/- apoE-/- bone marrow. There were no significant differences in plasma lipid levels, lipoprotein distributions, and HDL subpopulations between the 2 groups. Analysis of the proximal aorta demonstrated an 86% increase in mean atherosclerotic lesion area in SR-BI-/- apoE-/- → apoE-/- mice compared with SR-BI+/+ apoE-/- → apoE-/- mice (109.50±18.08 versus 58.75±9.58×103 μm2; mean±SEM, P=0.017). No difference in cholesterol efflux from SR-BI+/+ apoE-/- or SR-BI-/- apoE-/- macrophages to HDL or apoA-I discs was detected. Conclusions - Expression of macrophage SR-BI protects mice against atherosclerotic lesion development in apoE-deficient mice in vivo without influencing plasma lipids, HDL subpopulations, or cholesterol efflux. Thus, macrophage SR-BI plays an antiatherogenic role in vivo, providing a new therapeutic target for the design of strategies to prevent and treat atherosclerosis.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)2258-2263
    Number of pages6
    Issue number18
    StatePublished - Nov 4 2003


    • Atherosclerosis
    • Cholesterol
    • Macrophages
    • Receptors

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
    • Physiology (medical)


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