The molecular mechanisms underlyying the resuction of LDL apoB-100 by ezetimibe plus simvastatin

D.T. Telford, B.G. Sutherland, J.Y. Edwards, J.D. Andrews, Hugh Barrett, M.W. Huff

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    The combination of ezetimibe, an inhibitor of Niemann-Pick C1-like 1 protein (NPC1L1), and an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor decreases cholesterol absorption and synthesis. In clinical trials, ezetimibe plus simvastatin produces greater LDL-cholesterol reductions than does monotherapy. The molecular mechanism for this enhanced efficacy has not been defined. Apolipoprotein B-100 (apoB-100) kinetics were determined in miniature pigs treated with ezetimibe (0.1 mg/kg/day), ezetimibe plus simvastatin (10 mg/kg/day), or placebo (n = 7/group). Ezetimibe decreased cholesterol absorption (-79%) and plasma phytosterols (-91%), which were not affected further by simvastatin. Ezetimibe increased plasma lathosterol (+65%), which was prevented by addition of simvastatin. The combination decreased total cholesterol (-35%) and LDL-cholesterol (-47%). VLDL apoB pool size decreased 26%, due to a 35% decrease in VLDL apoB production. LDL apoB pool size decreased 34% due to an 81% increase in the fractional catabolic rate, both of which were significantly greater than monotherapy. Combination treatment decreased hepatic microsomal cholesterol (-29%) and cholesteryl ester (-65%) and increased LDL receptor (LDLR) expression by 240%. The combination increased NPC1L1 expression in liver and intestine, consistent with increased SREBP2 expression. Ezetimibe plus simvastatin decreases VLDL and LDL apoB-100 concentrations through reduced VLDL production and upregulation of LDLR-mediated LDL clearance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)699-708
    JournalJournal of Lipid Research
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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