Increased serum apolipoprotein (apo)B and associated LDL levels are well-correlated with an increased risk of coronary disease. ApoE–/– and low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLr)–/– mice have been extensively used for studies of coronary atherosclerosis. These animals show atherosclerotic lesions similar to those in humans, but their serum lipids are low in apoB-containing LDL particles. We describe the development of a new mouse model with a human-like lipid profile. Ldlr CETP+/– hemizygous mice carry a single copy of the human CETP transgene and a single copy of a LDL receptor mutation. To evaluate the apoB pathways in this mouse model, we used novel short-interfering RNAs (siRNA) formulated in lipid nanoparticles (LNP). ApoB siRNAs induced up to 95% reduction of liver ApoB mRNA and serum apoB protein, and a significant lowering of serum LDL in Ldlr CETP+/– mice. ApoB targeting is specific and dose-dependent, and it shows lipid-lowering effects for over three weeks. Although specific triglycerides (TG) were affected by ApoB mRNA knockdown (KD) and the total plasma lipid levels were decreased by 70%, the overall lipid distribution did not change. Results presented here demonstrate a new mouse model for investigating additional targets within the ApoB pathways using the siRNA modality
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