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Ying, Zhixiong; Eenige, Robin van; Beerepoot, Rosa; Boon, Mariette R.; Kloosterhuis, Niels J.; Sluis, Bart van de; Bartelt, Alexander; Rensen, Patrick C. N. and Kooijman, Sander (2022): Mirabegron-induced brown fat activation does not exacerbate atherosclerosis in mice with a functional hepatic ApoE-LDLR pathway. In: Pharmacological Research, Vol. 187, 106634

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Activation of brown adipose tissue (BAT) with the 133-adrenergic receptor agonist CL316,243 protects mice from atherosclerosis development, and the presence of metabolically active BAT is associated with cardiometabolic health in humans. In contrast, exposure to cold or treatment with the clinically used 133-adrenergic receptor agonist mirabegron to activate BAT exacerbates atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E (ApoE)-and low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR)-deficient mice, both lacking a functional ApoE-LDLR pathway crucial for lipopro-tein remnant clearance. We, therefore, investigated the effects of mirabegron treatment on dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis development in APOE*3-Leiden.CETP mice, a humanized lipoprotein metabolism model with a functional ApoE-LDLR clearance pathway. Mirabegron activated BAT and induced white adipose tissue (WAT) browning, accompanied by selectively increased fat oxidation and attenuated fat mass gain. Mirabegron increased the uptake of fatty acids derived from triglyceride (TG)-rich lipoproteins by BAT and WAT, which was coupled to increased hepatic uptake of the generated cholesterol-enriched core remnants. Mirabegron also promoted hepatic very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) production, likely due to an increased flux of fatty acids from WAT to the liver, and resulted in transient elevation in plasma TG levels followed by a substantial decrease in plasma TGs. These effects led to a trend toward lower plasma cholesterol levels and reduced atherosclerosis. We conclude that BAT activation by mirabegron leads to substantial metabolic benefits in APOE*3-Leiden.CETP mice, and mirabegron treatment is certainly not atherogenic. These data underscore the importance of the choice of experimental models when investigating the effect of BAT activation on lipoprotein metabolism and atherosclerosis.

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