16 Scopus citations


Familial hypobetalipoproteinemia (FHBL) due to truncation-specifying mutations of apolipoprotein B (apoB), which impair hepatic lipid export in very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) particles, is associated with fatty liver. In an FHBL-like mouse with the apoB38.9 mutation, fatty liver develops despite reduced hepatic fatty acid synthesis. However, hepatic cholesterol contents in apoB38.9 mice are normal. We found that cholesterogenic enzymes (3-hydroxy-3- methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase, sterol-C5-desaturase, and 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase) were consistently downregulated in two separate expression-profiling experiments using a total of 19 mice (n = 7 each for apob+/+ and apob+/38.9, and n = 5 for apob 38.9/38.9) and Affymetrix Mu74Av2 GeneChip microarrays. Results were confirmed by realtime PCR. Cholesterol synthesis rates in cultured hepatocytes were reduced by 35% and 25% in apob38.9/38.9 and apob +/38.9, respectively, vs. apob+/+. Hepatic triglycerides and lipid peroxides, the latter measured by thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) assay, were significantly elevated in apob+/38.9 (117%) and apob38.9/38.9 (132%) vs. apob+/+ (100%), as were mRNA expression of the microsomal lipid peroxidizing enzymes Cyp4A10 and Cyp4A14. Hepatic lipid peroxide levels were positively correlated with triglyceride contents (r = 0.601, P = 0.0065). Thus the fatty liver due to a VLDL secretion defect is associated with insufficient adaptation to triglyceride accumulation and with increased lipid peroxidation. In contrast, apoB38.9 mice effectively maintain cholesterol homeostasis in the liver, at least in part, by reducing hepatic cholesterol synthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G1170-G1176
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Familial hypobetalipoproteinemia
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver
  • Oxidative stress


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