Genetic studies have revealed the association between the ε2 allele of the apolipoprotein E (apoE) gene and greater risk of metabolic diseases. This study compared C57BL/6 mice in which the endogenous mouse gene has been replaced by the human APOE2 or APOE3 gene (APOE2 and APOE3 mice) to identify the mechanism underlying the relationship between ε2 and obesity and diabetes. In comparison with APOE3 mice, the APOE2 mice had elevated fasting plasma lipid and insulin levels and displayed prolonged postprandial hyperlipidemia accompanied by increased granulocyte number and inflammation 2 h after being fed a lipid-rich meal. In comparison with APOE3 mice, the APOE2 mice also showed increased adiposity when maintained on a Western-type, high-fat, high-cholesterol diet. Adipose tissue dysfunction with increased macrophage infiltration, abundant crown-like structures, and inflammation were also observed in adipose tissues of APOE2 mice. The severe adipocyte dysfunction and tissue inflammation corresponded with the robust hyperinsulinemia observed in APOE2 mice after being fed the Westerntype diet. Taken together, these data showed that impaired plasma clearance of apoE2-containing, triglyceride-rich lipoproteins promotes lipid redistribution to neutrophils and adipocytes to accentuate inflammation and adiposity, thereby accelerating the development of hyperinsulinemia that will ultimately lead to advanced metabolic diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism