Apolipoprotein changes associated with the plasma lipid-regulating activity of gemfibrozil in cholesterol-fed rats.J Lipid Res. 1985 Aug; 26(8):940-9.JL
Gemfibrozil (Lopid) is a new plasma lipid-regulating drug that decreases very low and low density lipoprotein (VLD/LDL) and increases high density lipoprotein (HDL) concentrations in man. The present experiments tested the effects of gemfibrozil on plasma lipoproteins and apolipoproteins in rats fed high fat/high cholesterol diets. Compared to chow-fed rats, cholesterol feeding for 2 weeks (20% olive oil/2% cholesterol) produced the expected increases in VLDL and intermediate density lipoprotein (IDL) while lowering plasma HDL. This was documented by using three methods of lipoprotein isolation: sequential ultracentrifugation, density gradient ultracentrifugation, and agarose gel filtration. Gemfibrozil gavaged at 50 mg/kg per day for 2 weeks during cholesterol feeding prevented these changes such that lipoprotein patterns were similar to those in chow-fed animals. Whole plasma apoE and apoA-I concentrations were decreased and apoB increased due to cholesterol feeding as determined by electroimmunoassay, but again gemfibrozil treatment prevented these diet-induced alterations. Gradient polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis patterns of the total d less than 1.21 g/ml lipoprotein fractions reflected the changes in apolipoprotein concentrations and further demonstrated a greater increase of apoBl compared to apoBh in cholesterol-fed rats. Gemfibrozil lowered the concentration of both apoB variants and prevented the shift of apoE from HDL to lower density lipoproteins. Changes in the distribution of apoE were confirmed using agarose gel column chromatography followed by electroimmunoassay. These methods also revealed a shift of apoA-IV from HDL to the d greater than 1.21 g/ml, lipoprotein-free fraction with gemfibrozil treatment when blood was taken from fasted or postabsorptive animals. Since it was also noted that in chow-fed rats more apoA-IV was present in the d greater than 1.21 g/ml fraction in the postabsorptive or fed state compared to fasted animals, it could be postulated that the shift of apoA-IV into this fraction in gemfibrozil-treated rats is related to an accelerated clearance of chylomicrons. It is concluded that gemfibrozil largely prevents the accumulation of abnormal lipoproteins in this model of dyslipoproteinemia, and that apoE may play a critical role in this normalization process.