In vivo contribution of LCAT to apolipoprotein B lipoprotein cholesteryl esters in LDL receptor and apolipoprotein E knockout mice

J Lipid Res. 2002 Mar;43(3):428-37.


Previous studies have indicated that LCAT may play a role in the generation of cholesteryl esters (CE) in plasma apolipoprotein B (apoB) lipoproteins. The purpose of the present study was to examine the quantitative importance of LCAT on apoB lipoprotein CE fatty acid (CEFA) composition. LCAT(-/-) mice were crossed into the LDL receptor (LDLr)(-/-) and apoE(-/-) background to retard the clearance and increase the concentration of apoB lipoprotein in plasma. Plasma free cholesterol was significantly elevated but total and esterified cholesterol concentrations were not significantly affected by removal of functioning LCAT in either the LDLr(-/-) or apoE(-/-) mice consuming a chow diet. However, when functional LCAT was removed from LDLr(-/-) mice, the CEFA ratio (saturated + monounsaturated/polyunsaturated) of plasma LDL increased 7-fold because of a 2-fold increase in saturated and monounsaturated CE, a 40% reduction in cholesteryl linoleate, and a complete absence of long chain (>18 carbon) polyunsaturated CE (20:4, 20:5n-3, and 22:6n-3), from 29.3% to 0%. Removal of functional LCAT from apoE(-/-) mice resulted in only a 1.6-fold increase in the CEFA ratio, due primarily to a complete elimination of long chain CE (7.7% to 0%). Our results demonstrate that LCAT contributes significantly to the CEFA pool of apoB lipoprotein and is the only source of plasma long chain polyunsaturated CE in these mice.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apolipoproteins B / blood
  • Apolipoproteins B / chemistry*
  • Apolipoproteins E / deficiency*
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol Esters / blood
  • Cholesterol Esters / chemistry*
  • Fatty Acids / blood
  • Lecithin Cholesterol Acyltransferase Deficiency / genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Phosphatidylcholine-Sterol O-Acyltransferase / physiology*
  • Receptors, LDL / deficiency*
  • Receptors, LDL / genetics


  • Apolipoproteins B
  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Cholesterol Esters
  • Fatty Acids
  • Receptors, LDL
  • Cholesterol
  • Phosphatidylcholine-Sterol O-Acyltransferase