Intestinal specific LXR activation stimulates reverse cholesterol transport and protects from atherosclerosis

Giuseppe Lo Sasso, Stefania Murzilli, Lorena Salvatore, Ilenia D'Errico, Michele Petruzzelli, Paola Conca, Zhao Yan Jiang, Laura Calabresi, Paolo Parini, Antonio Moschetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Scopus citations


Several steps of the HDL-mediated reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) are transcriptionally regulated by the nuclear receptors LXRs in the macrophages, liver, and intestine. Systemic LXR activation via synthetic ligands induces RCT but also causes increased hepatic fatty acid synthesis and steatosis, limiting the potential therapeutic use of LXR agonists. During the last few years, the participation of the intestine in the control of RCT has appeared more evident. Here we show that while hepaticspecific LXR activation does not contribute to RCT, intestinal-specific LXR activation leads to decreased intestinal cholesterol absorption, improved lipoprotein profile, and increased RCT in vivo in the absence of hepatic steatosis. These events protect against atherosclerosis in the background of the LDLR-deficient mice. Our study fully characterizes the molecular and metabolic scenario that elects the intestine as a key player in the LXR-driven protective environment against cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-193
Number of pages7
JournalCell Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 4 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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