Targeted disruption of the class B scavenger receptor CD36 protects against atherosclerotic lesion development in mice

J Clin Invest. 2000 Apr;105(8):1049-56. doi: 10.1172/JCI9259.


Macrophage scavenger receptors have been implicated as key players in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. To assess the role of the class B scavenger receptor CD36 in atherogenesis, we crossed a CD36-null strain with the atherogenic apo E-null strain and quantified lesion development. There was a 76.5% decrease in aortic tree lesion area (Western diet) and a 45% decrease in aortic sinus lesion area (normal chow) in the CD36-apo E double-null mice when compared with controls, despite alterations in lipoprotein profiles that often correlate with increased atherogenicity. Macrophages derived from CD36-apo E double-null mice bound and internalized more than 60% less copper-oxidized LDL and LDL modified by monocyte-generated reactive nitrogen species. A similar inhibition of in vitro lipid accumulation and foam cell formation after exposure to these ligands was seen. These results support a major role for CD36 in atherosclerotic lesion development in vivo and suggest that blockade of CD36 can be protective even in more extreme proatherogenic circumstances.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics
  • Apolipoproteins E / physiology
  • Arteriosclerosis / etiology
  • Arteriosclerosis / prevention & control*
  • CD36 Antigens / genetics
  • CD36 Antigens / physiology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Female
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / metabolism
  • Macrophages, Peritoneal / cytology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Receptors, Immunologic / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Immunologic / genetics
  • Receptors, Immunologic / physiology*
  • Receptors, Scavenger
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Weight Gain


  • Apolipoproteins E
  • CD36 Antigens
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, Scavenger
  • Triglycerides
  • oxidized low density lipoprotein
  • Cholesterol