Journal of lipid research

Apolipoprotein E-deficient lipoproteins induce foam cell formation by downregulation of lysosomal hydrolases in macrophages.

PMID 17720994


Apolipoprotein E (apoE) deficiency has been suggested to induce foam cell formation. Using lipoproteins obtained from wild-type mice and apoE-deficient mice expressing apoB-48 but not apoB-100, we studied apoE-deficient lipoprotein-induced changes in lipoprotein catabolism and protein expression in mouse peritoneal macrophages (MPMs). Our data demonstrate that incubation of MPMs with apoE-deficient lipoproteins induced intracellular lipoprotein, cholesteryl ester, and triglyceride accumulation, which was associated with a time-related decline in apoE-deficient lipoprotein degradation in MPMs. Confocal microscopy analysis indicated that the accumulated lipids were localized in lysosomes. ApoE-deficient lipoproteins reduced the protein levels of lysosomal acid lipase, cathepsin B, and cation-dependent mannose 6 phosphate receptor (MPR46). Exogenous apoE reduced apoE-deficient lipoprotein-induced lipid accumulation and attenuated the suppressive effect of apoE-deficient lipoproteins on lysosomal hydrolase and MPR46 expression. Although oxidized lipoproteins also increased lipid contents in MPMs, exogenous apoE could not attenuate oxidized lipoprotein-induced lipid accumulation. Our in vivo studies also showed that feeding apoE-deficient mice a high-fat diet resulted in cholesteryl ester and triglyceride accumulation and reduced lysosomal hydrolase expression in MPMs. These data suggest that apoE-deficient lipoproteins increase cellular lipid contents through pathways different from those activated by oxidized lipoproteins and that reducing lysosomal hydrolases in macrophages might be a mechanism by which apoE-deficient lipoproteins result in intralysosomal lipoprotein accumulation, thereby inducing foam cell formation.