Impact of dietary choline on lipid metabolism and atherosclerosis development in apoEKO mice deficient or overexpressing apolipoprotein A-I

Selected Abstract - XVI SITeCS Congress

Alice Colombo
Università degli studi di Milano, Dipartimento di Scienze Farmacologiche e Biomolecolari, Milano, Italy
Marco Busnelli
Università degli studi di Milano, Dipartimento di Scienze Farmacologiche e Biomolecolari, Milano, Italy
Stefano Manzini
Università degli studi di Milano, Dipartimento di Scienze Farmacologiche e Biomolecolari, Milano, Italy
Elsa Franchi
Università degli studi di Milano, Dipartimento di Scienze Farmacologiche e Biomolecolari, Milano, Italy
Mariel Garcia Rivera
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, BIH Core Facility Metabolomics, Berlin, Germany
Jennifer Kirwan
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, BIH Core Facility Metabolomics, Berlin, Germany
Giulia Chiesa
Università degli studi di Milano, Dipartimento di Scienze Farmacologiche e Biomolecolari, Milano, Italy

Abstract

TMAO, a metabolite of dietary choline, is considered a pro-atherogenic molecule for its ability to interfere with the reverse cholesterol transport, in which apolipoprotein A-I and HDL play a key role. In the present work it was evaluated how TMAO impacts on the development of atherosclerosis in mice with different levels of apoA-I/HDL.
Mice deficient in both murine apoA-I and apoE (DKO) and DKO mice overexpressing human apoA-I (DKO/hA-I), characterized by extremely low or high plasma HDL levels respectively, were fed for 16 weeks two standard rodent diets, differing only in their choline content (0.09% or 1.2%). At the end of the dietary treatment, atherosclerosis development was quantified at the aortic sinus, targeted plasma metabolomics was performed, and gene expression was evaluated in liver, duodenum, jejunum and ileum.
With both diets, DKO mice developed much larger plaques than DKO/hA-I mice. High-choline diet increased plasma TMAO levels in both genotypes. Interestingly, a worsening of plaque development by high choline diet occurred in DKO/hA-I mice only (0.057±0.048 mm2 vs 0.0988±0.064 mm2, p<0.01). Plasma metabolomics indicated that choline supplementation, only in the presence of HDL, significantly increased the concentration of some ceramide species in addition to several markers of impaired kidney function.
High-choline diet increased the hepatic gene expression of Fmo1 and Fmo2 in DKO/hA-I, whereas the expression of Scarb1 was lower in DKO/hA-I compared to DKO mice, regardless of the dietary treatment. Intestinal expression of genes involved in inflammatory response and in lipid metabolism was comparable between genotypes and was not modified by choline supplementation.
In conclusion, high choline diet increased plasma TMAO concentration in both genotypes, but affected atherosclerosis development, plasma metabolome and hepatic gene expression only in high HDL mice. Intestinal gene expression was not affected neither by genotype nor by dietary choline content.

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