Preβ HDL are small, protein rich lipoproteins that are predominantly composed of apo A-I, without apo A-II. Preβ HDL are secreted from the liver as nascent HDL and/or are produced in the incubated plasma by cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP). However, the role of CETP in the secretion of HDL from the liver has yet to be determined. In the present study, we examined the effect of the suppression of hepatic CETP by antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) against CETP targeted to the liver on the secretion of apo A-I using a Hep G2 cell culture. The ODNs against CETP were coupled to asialoglycoprotein (ASOR) carrier molecules, which serve as an important method for the regulation of liver gene expression. Hep G2 cells were cultured in DMEM supplemented with 10% FBS. After 2 days, the medium was changed to DMEM with EGF and the cells were divided into three groups. The control group received saline, while the sense group was mixed with the sense ODNs complex and the antisense group was mixed with the antisense ODNs complex, respectively, for 2 days. Both the hepatic CETP mRNA and the CETP mass in the medium in the antisense group decreased significantly more than in the sense and the control groups (CETP mass: 1.697±0.410 ng/mg cell protein vs. 2.367±0.22 and 2.360±0.139, n=3 in each determination). In contrast, both the hepatic apo A-I mRNA and the apo A-I mass in the medium in the antisense group were significantly higher than those in the sense and the control groups (apo A-I mass; 1.877±0.215 μg/mg cell protein vs. 1.213±0.282 and 1.097±0.144, n=3 in each determination). The increase in apo A-I was mainly due to the increase in preβ apo A-I. These findings may partly explain why HDL and apo A-I increase in patients with CETP deficiency, while also indicating the possibility that the original level of preβ HDL is sufficient in such patients. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.
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