Inhibition of glycosphingolipid synthesis ameliorates atherosclerosis and arterial stiffness in apolipoprotein E-/-Mice and rabbits fed a high-fat and -cholesterol diet

Academic Article


  • Background-Glycosphingolipids, integral components of the cell membrane, have been shown to serve as messengers, transducing growth factor-initiated phenotypes. Here, we have examined whether inhibition of glycosphingolipid synthesis could ameliorate atherosclerosis and arterial stiffness in transgenic mice and rabbits. Methods and Results-Apolipoprotein E-/-mice (12 weeks of age; n=6) were fed regular chow or a Western diet (1.25% cholesterol, 2% fat). Mice were fed 5 or 10 mg/kg of an inhibitor of glycosphingolipid synthesis, D-threo-1-phenyl-2-decanoylamino-3-morpholino-1-propanol (D-PDMP), solubilized in vehicle (5% Tween-80 in PBS); the placebo group received vehicle only. At 20 and 36 weeks of age, serial echocardiography was performed to measure aortic intima-media thickening. Aortic pulse-wave velocity measured vascular stiffness. Feeding mice a Western diet markedly increased aortic pulse-wave velocity, intima-media thickening, oxidized low-density lipoprotein, Ca2+ deposits, and glucosylceramide and lactosylceramide synthase activity. These were dose-dependently decreased by feeding D-PDMP. In liver, D-PDMP decreased cholesterol and triglyceride levels by raising the expression of SREBP2, low-density lipoprotein receptor, HMGCo-A reductase, and the cholesterol efflux genes (eg, ABCG5, ABCG8). D-PDMP affected very-low-density lipoprotein catabolism by increasing the gene expression for lipoprotein lipase and very-low-density lipoprotein receptor. Rabbits fed a Western diet for 90 days had extensive atherosclerosis accompanied by a 17.5-fold increase in total cholesterol levels and a 3-fold increase in lactosylceramide levels. This was completely prevented by feeding D-PDMP. Conclusions-Inhibition of glycosphingolipid synthesis ameliorates atherosclerosis and arterial stiffness in apolipoprotein E-/-mice and rabbits. Thus, inhibition of glycosphingolipid synthesis may be a novel approach to ameliorate atherosclerosis and arterial stiffness. (Circulation. 2014;129:2403-2413.) © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Circulation  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Chatterjee S; Bedja D; Mishra S; Amuzie C; Avolio A; Kass DA; Berkowitz D; Renehan M
  • Start Page

  • 2403
  • End Page

  • 2413
  • Volume

  • 129
  • Issue

  • 23