Primary and secondary hypertriglyceridemia is common in the general population, but the biochemical basis for this disease is largely unknown. With the use of transgenic technology, two lines of mice were created that express the human apolipoprotein CIII gene. One of these mouse lines with 100 copies of the gene was found to express large amounts of the protein and to be severely hypertriglyceridemic. The other mouse line with one to two copies of the gene expressed low amounts of the protein, but nevertheless manifested mild hypertriglyceridemia. Thus, overexpression of apolipoprotein CIII can be a primary cause of hypertriglyceridemia in vivo and may provide one possible etiology for this common disorder in humans.
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