Effect of hyercholesterolemia on cholinephosphotransferase activity in rabbit and rat vessel walls

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      The activity of cholinephosphotransferase (EC, CPT) which catalyses de novo synthesis of phosphatidylcholine (PC) was studied in aortas of rabbits and rats, and in brain microvessels of rabbits with a cholesterol feeding-induced hypercholesterolemia. Cholesterol feeding produced a marked atheromatous change in rabbit aortas but not in rat aortas. The aortas of cholesterol-fed rabbits displayed a significantly higher CPT activity than the controls. On the other hand, the aortic CPT activity of cholesterol-fed rats was not different from that of control rats. The brain microvessels of cholesterol-fed rabbits having atheromatous aortic lesions did not show any lipid deposition, and CPT activity was similar to that of control rabbits. A tocopherol-deficient, high-cholesterol diet produced microscopical lipid deposits in rat aortas, and CPT activity of these aortas was significantly higher than that of aortas of rats on tocopherol-supplemented diets containing either a normal or high amount of cholesterol. The increase in CPT activity in atheromatous lesion might be closely related to lipid deposition in vessel walls and may be a cause of the increase in PC content in these lesions. Further studies are required to clarify the mechanism of activation of CPT activity in atheromatous conditions.


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