Glycero-lysophospholipids, such as lysophosphatidic acids and lysophosphatidylserine, are gathering attention, since specific receptors have been identified. Most of these compounds have been proposed to be bound to albumin, while their associations with lipoproteins have not been fully elucidated. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to investigate the contents of glycero-lysophospholipids (lysophosphatidic acids, lysophosphatidylcholine, lysophosphatidylethanolamine, lysophosphatidylglycerol, lysophosphatidylinositol, and lysophosphatidylserine) on lipoproteins and the modulation of their metabolism by lipoprotein metabolism. We observed that moderate amounts of glycero-lysophospholipids, with the exception of lysophosphatidylserine, were distributed on the LDL and HDL fractions, and glycero-lysophospholipids that had bound to albumin were observed in lipoprotein fractions when they were co-incubated. The overexpression of cholesteryl ester transfer protein decreased the plasma levels of lysophosphatidylcholine, lysophosphatidylethanolamine, lysophosphatidylglycerol, and lysophosphatidylinositol and it increased their contents in apoB-containing lipoproteins, while it decreased their contents in HDL and lipoprotein-depleted fractions in mice. The overexpression of the LDL receptor (LDLr) decreased the plasma levels of lysophosphatidylcholine, lysophosphatidylethanolamine, lysophosphatidylglycerol, and lysophosphatidylinositol and decreased the contents of these compounds in the LDL, HDL, and lipoprotein-depleted fractions, while the knockdown of the LDLr increased them. These results suggest the potential importance of glycero-lysophospholipids in the pleiotropic effects of lipoproteins as well as the importance of lipoprotein metabolism in the regulation of glycero-lysophospholipids.
Apolipoprotein M (apoM) is a carrier and a modulator of sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), an important multifunctional bioactive lipid. Since peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is reportedly associated with the function and metabolism of S1P, we investigated the modulation of apoM/S1P homeostasis by PPARγ. First, we investigated the modulation of apoM and S1P homeostasis by the overexpression or knockdown of PPARγ in HepG2 cells and found that both the overexpression and the knockdown of PPARγ decreased apoM expression and S1P synthesis. When we activated or suppressed the PPARγ more mildly with pioglitazone or GW9662, we found that pioglitazone suppressed apoM expression and S1P synthesis, while GW9662 increased them. Next, we overexpressed PPARγ in mouse liver through adenoviral gene transfer and observed that both the plasma and hepatic apoM levels and the plasma S1P levels decreased, while the hepatic S1P levels increased, in the presence of enhanced sphingosine kinase activity. Treatment with pioglitazone decreased both the plasma and hepatic apoM and S1P levels only in diet-induced obese mice. Moreover, the overexpression of apoM increased, while the knockdown of apoM suppressed PPARγ activities in HepG2 cells. These results suggested that PPARγ regulates the S1P levels by modulating apoM in a bell-shaped manner, with the greatest levels of apoM/S1P observed when PPARγ was mildly expressed and that hepatic apoM/PPARγ axis might maintain the homeostasis of S1P metabolism.