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Uptake of labelled free and esterified cholesterol from plasma by the aortic intima—media tissue measured in vivo in three animal species

  • Steen Stender
    Affiliations
    Department of Clinical Chemistry CL (SS), Rigshospitalet, University Hospital of Copenhagen, Blegdamsuej 9, DK-2100 Copenhagen, and Department of Physiology (SC, ON), University of Aarhus, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
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  • Søren Christensen
    Affiliations
    Department of Clinical Chemistry CL (SS), Rigshospitalet, University Hospital of Copenhagen, Blegdamsuej 9, DK-2100 Copenhagen, and Department of Physiology (SC, ON), University of Aarhus, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
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  • Ole Nyvad
    Affiliations
    Department of Clinical Chemistry CL (SS), Rigshospitalet, University Hospital of Copenhagen, Blegdamsuej 9, DK-2100 Copenhagen, and Department of Physiology (SC, ON), University of Aarhus, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
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      Abstract

      Hyperlipemic stilboestrol-treated cockerels, cholesterol-fed rabbits and minipigs, as well as normolipemic cockerels and rabbits were injected intravenously with homologous plasma of corresponding lipid concentration labelled in vivo with radioactive cholesterol. The ratios between labelled free cholesterol and labelled esterified cholesterol in the intima-media from the thoracic aorta of these 5 groups of animals were respectively 1-, 2-, 8-, 2- and 20-fold greater than the corresponding average tracer ratio in plasma during the uptake period of 4–6 h. The intima-media tissue in the coronary arteries studied in one minipig contained 2–5 times more labelled cholesterol per mg wet weight than corresponding aortic tissue. This arterial uptake of labelled cholesterol in the minipigs was measured concomitantly with the uptake of phosphatidylcholine and plasma protein labelled in vivo. The uptake for these various tracers in the minipig suggested entry of labelled free and esterified cholesterol into the arterial wall, mainly as part of the plasma lipoproteins, with subsequent hydrolysis in the arterial wall of some of the cholesterol ester. In the stilboestroltreated cockerels hydrolysis of cholesterol ester seems to be absent. The relatively higher uptake in the minipig of the labelled plasma protein (albumin) than of the lipoprotein (as traced by its lipids) suggests a molecular weight-dependent arterial entry of these plasma macromolecules.

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