Retention of low-density lipoprotein in atherosclerotic lesions of the mouse: Evidence for a role of lipoprotein lipase

Maria Gustafsson, Malin Levin, Kristina Skålén, Jeanna Perman, Vincent Fridén, Pernilla Jirholt, Sven Olof Olofsson, Sergio Fazio, MacRae F. Linton, Clay F. Semenkovich, Gunilla Olivecrona, Jan Borén

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Direct binding of apolipoprotein (apo)B-containing lipoproteins to proteoglycans is the initiating event in atherosclerosis, but the processes involved at later stages of development are unclear. Here, we investigated the importance of the apoB-proteoglycan interaction in the development of atherosclerosis over time and investigated the role of lipoprotein lipase (LPL) to facilitate low-density lipoprotein (LDL) retention at later stages of development. Atherosclerosis was analyzed in apoB transgenic mice expressing LDL with normal (control LDL) or reduced proteoglycan-binding (RK3359-3369SA LDL) activity after an atherogenic diet for 0 to 40 weeks. The initiation of atherosclerosis was delayed in mice expressing RK3359-3369SA LDL, but they eventually developed the same level of atherosclerosis as mice expressing control LDL. Retention studies in vivo showed that although higher levels of I-tyramine cellobiose-labeled control LDL (I-TC-LDL) were retained in nonatherosclerotic aortae compared with RK3359-3369SA I-TC-LDL, the retention was significantly higher and there was no difference between the groups in atherosclerotic aortae. Lower levels of control I-TC-LDL and RK3359-3369SA I-TC-LDL were retained in atherosclerotic aortae from ldlr mice transplanted with lpl compared with lpl bone marrow. Uptake of control LDL or RK3359-3369SA LDL into macrophages with specific expression of human catalytically active or inactive LPL was increased compared with control macrophages. Furthermore, transgenic mice expressing catalytically active or inactive LPL developed the same extent of atherosclerosis. Thus, retention of LDL in the artery wall is initiated by direct LDL-proteoglycan binding but shifts to indirect binding with bridging molecules such as LPL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)777-783
Number of pages7
JournalCirculation research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Apolipoprotein B
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Lipoprotein lipase
  • Low-density lipoproteins
  • Retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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