Apolipoprotein E4 domain interaction accelerates diet-induced Atherosclerosis in hypomorphic arg-61 Apoe Mice

Delphine Eberlé, Roy Y. Kim, Fu Sang Luk, Nabora Soledad Reyes De Mochel, Nathalie Gaudreault, Victor R. Olivas, Nikit Kumar, Jessica M. Posada, Andrew C. Birkeland, Joseph H. Rapp, Robert L. Raffai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objectives-: Apolipoprotein (apo) E4 is an established risk factor for atherosclerosis, but the structural components underlying this association remain unclear. ApoE4 is characterized by 2 biophysical properties: domain interaction and molten globule state. Substituting Arg-61 for Thr-61 in mouse apoE introduces domain interaction without molten globule state, allowing us to delineate potential proatherogenic effects of domain interaction in vivo. Methods And Results-: We studied atherosclerosis susceptibility of hypomorphic Apoe mice expressing either Thr-61 or Arg-61 apoE (ApoeT or ApoeRmice). On a chow diet, both mouse models were normolipidemic with similar levels of plasma apoE and lipoproteins. However, on a high-cholesterol diet, ApoeR mice displayed increased levels of total plasma cholesterol and very-low-density lipoprotein as well as larger atherosclerotic plaques in the aortic root, arch, and descending aorta compared with ApoeT mice. In addition, evidence of cellular dysfunction was identified in peritoneal ApoeR macrophages which released lower amounts of apoE in culture medium and displayed increased expression of major histocompatibility complex class II molecules. Conclusions-: These data indicate that domain interaction mediates proatherogenic effects of apoE4 in part by modulating lipoprotein metabolism and macrophage biology. Pharmaceutical targeting of domain interaction could lead to new treatments for atherosclerosis in apoE4 individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1116-1123
Number of pages8
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Apolipoprotein E4
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Domain interaction
  • Lipoproteins
  • Macrophages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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