Apolipoprotein A1 Regulates Coenzyme Q10 Absorption, Mitochondrial Function, and Infarct Size in a Mouse Model of Myocardial Infarction1-3

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HDL and apolipoprotein A1 (apoA1) concentrations inversely correlate with risk of death from ischemic heart disease; however, the role of apoA1 in the myocardial response to ischemia has not been well defined. To test whether apoA1, the primary HDL apolipoprotein, has an acute anti-inflammatory role in ischemic heart disease, we induced myocardial infarction via direct left anterior descending coronary artery ligation in apoA1 null (apoA1-/-) and apoA1 heterozygous (apoA1+/−) mice. We observed that apoA1+/− and apoA1-/- mice had a 52% and 125% increase in infarct size as a percentage of area at risk, respectively, compared with wild-type (WT) C57BL/6 mice. Mitochondrial oxidation contributes to tissue damage in ischemia-reperfusion injury. A substantial defect was present at baseline in the electron transport chain of cardiac myocytes from apoA-/- mice localized to the coenzyme Q (CoQ) pool with impaired electron transfer (67% decrease) from complex II to complex III. Administration of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) to apoA1 null mice normalized the cardiac mitochondrial CoQ pool and reduced infarct size to that observed in WT mice. CoQ10 administration did not significantly alter infarct size in WT mice. These data identify CoQ pool content leading to impaired mitochondrial function as major contributors to infarct size in the setting of low HDL/apoA1. These data suggest a previously unappreciated mechanism for myocardial stunning, cardiac dysfunction, and muscle pain associated with low HDL and low apoA1 concentrations that can be corrected by CoQ10 supplementation and suggest populations of patients that may benefit particularly from CoQ10 supplementation. J. Nutr. 144: 1030-1036, 2014.

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