Cholesterol transfer from normal and atherogenic low density lipoproteins to Mycoplasma membranes.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether the free cholesterol of hypercholesterolemic low density lipoprotein from cholesterol-fed nonhuman primates has a greater potential for surface transfer to cell membranes than does the free cholesterol of normal low density lipoprotein. The low density lipoproteins were isolated from normal and hypercholesterolemic rhesus and cynomolgus monkeys, incubated with membranes from Acholeplasma laidlawii, a mycoplasma species devoid of cholesterol in its membranes, and the mass transfer of free cholesterol determined by measuring membrane cholesterol content. Since these membranes neither synthesize nor esterify cholesterol, nor degrade the protein or cholesterol ester moieties of low density lipoprotein, they are an ideal model with which to study differences in the cholesterol transfer potential of low density lipoprotein independent of the uptake of the intact low density lipoprotein particle. When added at an equivalent particle concentration, there was greater enrichment of membranes with free cholesterol from hypercholesterolemic low density lipoprotein. Hypercholesterolemic low density lipoprotein, however, contains more cholesterol per particle than normal low density lipoprotein; yet calculations on the basis of equivalent free cholesterol content showed no difference in either the rate or extent of free cholesterol transfer from normal or hypercholesterolemic low density lipoprotein. This was true for the transfer of at least 90% of the free cholesterol from both lipoproteins. These studies indicate that, even though there are marked differences in the cholesterol composition of normal and hypercholesterolemic low density lipoproteins, this does not result in a greater chemical potential for surface transfer of free cholesterol. Consequently, if a difference in the surface transfer of free cholesterol is responsible for the enhanced ability of hypercholesterolemic low density lipoprotein to promote cellular cholesterol accumulation and, perhaps, also atherosclerosis, it must be the result of differences in the interaction to the hypercholesterolemic low density lipoprotein with the more complicated mammalian cell membranes, rather than differences in the chemical potential for cholesterol transfer.
- Copyright © 1981 by American Heart Association