Indexed on: 06 Jun '03Published on: 06 Jun '03Published in: Kidney International
Hereditary analbuminemia is associated with hypercholesterolemia, which has been shown to be primarily caused by increased extrahepatic production of cholesterol. Nagase rats with hereditary analbuminemia (NAR) have been used as a model to dissect the effect of primary hypoalbuminemia from that caused by proteinuria in nephrotic syndrome. The present study was undertaken to explore the effect of hereditary analbuminemia on protein expression of the key factors involved in cholesterol metabolism.Hepatic tissue protein abundance of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, cholesterol 7alpha-hydroxylase (a rate-limiting enzyme in cholesterol catabolism), low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor, high density lipoprotein (HDL) receptor (SRB-1), acyl-coA cholesterol acyltransferase-2 (ACAT-2), and plasma concentration of lecithin cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT), as well as HMG-CoA reductase, ACAT, and LCAT activities were determined in fasting male NAR and Sprague-Dawley control rats.The NAR group exhibited significant up-regulation of HMG-CoA reductase protein abundance but normal HMG-CoA reductase enzymatic activity. This was coupled with a significant up-regulation of cholesterol 7alpha-hydroxylase and a mild up-regulation of ACAT protein abundance and activity. However, hepatic LDL receptor and HDL receptor and plasma LCAT protein concentration and activity were normal in NAR.Hypercholesterolemia in NAR is associated with elevated hepatic HMG-CoA reductase protein abundance, but normal HMG-CoA reductase activity. These findings point to post-translational regulation of this enzyme and favor an extrahepatic origin of hypercholesterolemia in NAR. The observed up-regulation of cholesterol 7alpha-hydroxylase represents a compensatory response to the associated hypercholesterolemia. Unlike nephrotic syndrome, which causes severe LDL receptor, HDL receptor, and LCAT deficiencies, hereditary analbuminemia does not affect these proteins.