Escher Lab

Cholesterol and Vitamin D3 metabolism in patients with chronic kidney disease

Why is atherosclerosis the leading cause of mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease? What is the contribution of a healthy kidney for cholesterol metabolism? Is Vitamin D3 atheroprotective? If yes, is this protection lost in patients with renal failure, because vitamin D3 is not adequately metabolized?
To answer these questions, we use 2 different mice models with gene dosage development of atherosclerosis when fed a high fat diet. We evaluate the severity of the atherosclerotic phenotype following induction of chronic kidney disease with Adenine or after 1 month supplementation with high dose of vitamin D3. This includes the quantification of serum lipoproteins and atherosclerotic lesions in the aortic root. In parallel, using GC-MS, we measure cholesterol and various vitamin D3 metabolites in patients’ serum. In in vitro studies using cholesterol efflux system, we assess lipoproteins functionality of patients’ serum and investigate the anti-atherosclerotic properties of each individual cholesterol and vitamin D3 metabolite. These studies should add to the rationale of adequate vitamin D3 supplementation.