In vivo transfer of cholesteryl ester from high and low density plasma lipoproteins into human aortic tissue.
For the study of cholesteryl ester transfer from different plasma lipoproteins into human aortic tissue, patients scheduled for reconstructive aortic surgery were intravenously injected with autologous in vitro labeled lipoproteins 20 to 24 hours before aortic intima-media samples were obtained during the operation. The injectate contained high density lipoproteins (d greater than 1.063) labeled with 3H-cholesteryl ester and lipoproteins of lower density (d less than 1.063) labeled with 14C-cholesteryl ester or lipoproteins with the opposite labeling. In 16 aortic tissue samples (some with visible atherosclerosis) from 11 normocholesterolemic patients, the aortic influx of total cholesteryl ester was 1 to 50 nmol x cm-2 x day-1. Some 39% +/- 3% (mean +/- SEM) of the influx was derived from high density lipoproteins, which in plasma accounted for only 22% +/- 2% (mean +/- SEM) of the esterified cholesterol. The findings suggest that: 1) esterified cholesterol from the two lipoprotein fractions in plasma enter the aortic intima by the same mechanism, and 2) influx of cholesteryl ester from the smaller, high density lipoproteins is greater than influx from the larger, lower density lipoproteins considering their concentrations in plasma. In some patients, the cholesterol content in the intima-media tissue with no visible atherosclerosis corresponded to only a few months of continuous cholesteryl ester influx. This time is short considering the age of the patients and, therefore, indicates that removal of esterified cholesterol from the intima-media is of major importance in preventing cholesterol deposition in the arterial wall.
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association