Ezetimibe ameliorates intestinal chylomicron overproduction and improves glucose tolerance in a diet-induced hamster model of insulin resistance
Published on May 1, 2012in American Journal of Physiology-gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology3.73
· DOI :10.1152/ajpgi.00250.2011
Ezetimibe is a cholesterol uptake inhibitor that targets the Niemann-Pick C1-like 1 cholesterol transporter. Ezetimibe treatment has been shown to cause significant decreases in plasma cholesterol levels in patients with hypercholesterolemia and familial hypercholesterolemia. A recent study in humans has shown that ezetimibe can decrease the release of atherogenic postprandial intestinal lipoproteins. In the present study, we evaluated the mechanisms by which ezetimibe treatment can lower postprandial apoB48-containing chylomicron particles, using a hyperlipidemic and insulin-resistant hamster model fed a diet rich in fructose and fat (the FF diet) and fructose, fat, and cholesterol (the FFC diet). Male Syrian Golden hamsters were fed either chow or the FF or FFC diet ± ezetimibe for 2 wk. After 2 wk, chylomicron production was assessed following intravenous triton infusion. Tissues were then collected and analyzed for protein and mRNA content. FFC-fed hamsters treated with ezetimibe showed improved glucose tolerance, decreased fasting insulin levels, and markedly reduced circulating levels of TG and cholesterol in both the LDL and VLDL fractions. Examination of triglyceride (TG)-rich lipoprotein (TRL) fractions showed that ezetimibe treatment reduced postprandial cholesterol content in TRL lipoproteins as well as reducing apoB48 content. Although ezetimibe did not decrease TRL-TG levels in FFC hamsters, ezetimibe treatment in FF hamsters resulted in decreases in TRL-TG. Jejunal apoB48 protein expression was lower in ezetimibe-treated hamsters. Reductions in jejunal protein levels of scavenger receptor type B-1 (SRB-1) and fatty acid transport protein 4 were also observed. In addition, ezetimibe-treated hamsters showed significantly lower jejunal mRNA expression of a number of genes involved in lipid synthesis and transport, including srebp-1c, sr-b1, ppar-γ, and abcg1. These data suggest that treatment with ezetimibe not only inhibits cholesterol uptake, but may also alter intestinal function to promote improved handling of dietary lipids and reduced chylomicron production. These, in turn, promote decreases in fasting and postprandial lipid levels and improvements in glucose homeostasis.