Spontaneous hypercholesterolemia and arterial lesions in mice lacking apolipoprotein E

Sunny H. Zhang, Robert L. Reddick, Jorge A. Piedrahita, Nobuyo Maeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1828 Scopus citations


Apolipoprotein E (apoE) is a ligand for receptors that clear remnants of chylomicrons and very low density lipoproteins. Lack of apoE is, therefore, expected to cause accumulation in plasma of cholesterol-rich remnants whose prolonged circulation should be atherogenic. ApoE-deficient mice generated by gene targeting were used to test this hypothesis and to make a mouse model for spontaneous atherosclerosis. The mutant mice had five times normal plasma cholesterol, and developed foam cell-rich depositions in their proximal aortas by age 3 months. These spontaneous lesions progressed and caused severe occlusion of the coronary artery ostium by 8 months. The severe yet viable phenotype of the mutants should make them valuable for investigating genetic and environmental factors that modify the atherogenic process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-471
Number of pages4
Issue number5081
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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