Journal of lipid research

Rutaecarpine suppresses atherosclerosis in ApoE-/- mice through upregulating ABCA1 and SR-BI within RCT.

PMID 24908654


ABCA1 and scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI)/CD36 and lysosomal integral membrane protein II analogous 1 (CLA-1) are the key transporter and receptor in reverse cholesterol transport (RCT). Increasing the expression level of ABCA1 and SR-BI/CLA-1 is antiatherogenic. The aim of the study was to find novel antiatherosclerotic agents upregulating expression of ABCA1 and SR-BI/CLA-1 from natural compounds. Using the ABCA1p-LUC and CLA-1p-LUC HepG2 cell lines, we found that rutaecarpine (RUT) triggered promoters of ABCA1 and CLA-1 genes. RUT increased ABCA1 and SR-BI/CLA-1 expression in vitro related to liver X receptor alpha and liver X receptor beta. RUT induced cholesterol efflux in RAW264.7 cells. ApoE-deficient (ApoE(-/-)) mice treated with RUT for 8 weeks showed ∼68.43, 70.23, and 85.56% less en face lesions for RUT (L), RUT (M), and RUT (H) groups, respectively, compared with the model group. Mouse macrophage-specific antibody and filipin staining indicated that RUT attenuated macrophages and cholesterol accumulations in atherosclerotic lesions, respectively. Additionally, ABCA1 and SR-BI expression was highly induced by RUT in livers of ApoE(-/-) mice. Meanwhile, RUT treatment significantly increased the fecal (3)H-cholesterol excretion, which demonstrated that RUT could promote RCT in vivo. RUT was identified to be a candidate that protected ApoE(-/-) mice from developing atherosclerosis through preferentially promoting activities of ABCA1 and SR-BI within RCT.