Inhibition of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) has been vigorously pursued as a potential therapy to treat patients who are at an elevated risk for coronary artery disease. Anacetrapib, a novel CETP inhibitor, has been shown clinically to raise HDL cholesterol and reduce LDL cholesterol when provided as monotherapy or when co-administered with a statin. Preclinically, the effects of anacetrapib on the functionality and composition of HDL have been extensively studied. In contrast, the effects of anacetrapib on other parameters related to lipoprotein metabolism and cardiovascular risk have been difficult to explore. The aim of the present investigation was to evaluate the effects of anacetrapib in rhesus macaques and to compare these to effects reported in dyslipidemic humans. Our results from two separate studies show that administration of anacetrapib (150 mg/kg q.d. for 10 days) to rhesus macaques results in alterations in CETP activity (reduced by more than 70%) and HDL cholesterol (increased by more than 110%) which are similar to those reported in dyslipidemic humans. Levels of LDL cholesterol were reduced by more than 60%, an effect slightly greater than what has been observed clinically. Treatment with anacetrapib in this model was also found to lead to statistically significant reductions in plasma PCSK9 and to reduce cholesterol excursion in the combined chylomicron and remnant lipoprotein fraction isolated from plasma by fast protein liquid chromatography. Collectively, these data suggest that rhesus macaques may be a useful translational model to study the mechanistic effects of CETP inhibition.
Keywords: Anacetrapib; Cholesteryl ester transfer protein; Lipoproteins; PCSK9; Rhesus macaques.
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