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To elucidate whether mesangial cells have any scavenger functions for modified lipoproteins, surface binding and cholesteryl ester (CE) formation by acetyl-low density lipoproteins (acetyl-LDL) have been studied in cultured rat renal mesangial cells. Specific binding kinetics for acetyl-LDL were observed with Kd = 28.3 μg/ml and Bmax = 1.1 ng/μg cell protein at 0°C. The fluorescence microscopic finding demonstrated the enhanced uptake of DiI-acetyl-LDL in mesangial cells. Incorporation of [14C]oleate into CE was enhanced to 6-fold by loading 30 μg/ml of acetyl-LDL on 10 μg/ml of [14C]oleate-bovine serum albumin conjugate as compared with the control without lipoproteins (P < 0.05). The CE formation was completely inhibited by chloroquine. The light microscopic finding demonstrated the increased CE deposition by acetyl-LDL, resulting in foam cell formation. These results indicate biochemically and morphologically that the mesangial cells take up acetyl-LDL by receptor-mediated endocytosis, and that cholesterols in acetyl-LDL are converted to CE, resulting in an increased cellular cholesterol content. In conclusion, mesangial cells may have a scavenger function similar to macrophages.
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Accepted: March 15, 1993
Received in revised form: March 8, 1993
Received: December 1, 1992
© 1993 Published by Elsevier Inc.