Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor (PPAR) α is a transcription factor controlling lipid metabolism in liver, heart, muscle and macrophages. PPARα-activation increases plasma HDL-cholesterol and exerts hypotriglyceridemic actions via the liver. However, the intestine expresses PPARα, produces HDL and chylomicrons and is exposed to diet-derived PPARα ligands. Therefore, we examined the effects of PPARα-activation on intestinal lipid and lipoprotein metabolism.
Methods and Results
The impact of PPARα-activation was evaluated in term of HDL-related gene expression in mice, ex-vivo in human jejunal biopsies and in Caco-2/TC7 cells. ApoAI/HDL secretion, cholesterol esterification and trafficking were also studied in-vitro.
In parallel to improving plasma lipid profiles and increasing liver and intestinal expression of fatty-acid-oxidation genes, treatment with the dual PPARα/δ-ligand GFT505 resulted in a more pronounced increase of plasma HDL compared to fenofibrate in mice. GFT505, but not fenofibrate, increased the expression of HDL-production genes such as apolipoprotein-AI and ATP-Binding-Cassette-A1 transporter in murine intestines. A similar increase was observed upon PPARα-activation of human biopsies and Caco-2/TC7 cells. Additionally, HDL secretion by Caco-2/TC7 cells increased. Moreover, PPARα-activation decreased the cholesterol-esterification capacity of Caco-2/TC7 cells, modified cholesterol trafficking and reduced apolipoprotein-B secretion.
PPARα-activation reduces cholesterol esterification, suppresses chylomicron- and increases HDL-secretion by enterocytes. These results identify the intestine as a target organ of PPARα-ligands with entero-hepatic tropism to reduce atherogenic dyslipidemia.