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A mouse model of human familial hypercholesterolemia: Markedly elevated low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and severe atherosclerosis on a low-fat chow diet

An Erratum to this article was published on 01 October 1998


Mutations in the low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor gene cause familial hypercholesterolemia, a human disease characterized by premature atherosclerosis and markedly elevated plasma levels of LDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein (apo) B100. In contrast, mice deficient for the LDL receptor (Ldlr−/−) have only mildly elevated LDL cholesterol levels and little atherosclerosis. This difference results from extensive editing of the hepatic apoB mRNA in the mouse, which limits apoB100 synthesis in favor of apoB48 synthesis. We have generated Ldlr−/− mice that cannot edit the apoB mRNA and therefore synthesize exclusively apoBIOO. These mice had markedly elevated LDL cholesterol and apoBIOO levels and developed extensive atherosclerosis on a chow diet. This authentic model of human familial hypercholesterolemia will provide a new tool for studying atherosclerosis.

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Correspondence to Nicholas O. Davidson.

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Powell-Braxton, L., Véniant, M., Latvala, R. et al. A mouse model of human familial hypercholesterolemia: Markedly elevated low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and severe atherosclerosis on a low-fat chow diet. Nat Med 4, 934–938 (1998).

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