The current studies were designed to determine whether chronic overexpression of low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors in the liver would protect mice from the increase in plasma LDL-cholesterol that is induced by high-fat diets. A line of transgenic mice was studied that express the human LDL receptor gene in the liver under control of the transferrin promoter. When fed a diet containing cholesterol, saturated fat, and bile acids for 3 weeks, the transgenic mice, in contrast to normal mice, did not develop a detectable increase in plasma LDL. The current data indicate that unregulated overexpression of LDL receptors can protect against diet-induced hypercholesterolemia in mice.
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