Evidence for surface entrapment of cholesterol-rich lipoproteins in luteinized ovary.
Previous studies showed that perfused 125I-labeled low and high density lipoproteins (LDL, HDL) have affinity for specialized microvillar regions of luteal cells in hormone-primed, luteinized rat ovaries. In the current report, we re-examined the interaction of cholesterol-rich lipoproteins with these specialized plasma membrane regions using native lipoproteins visualized as discrete particles by standard electron microscopic techniques. In ovaries perfused with the various lipoproteins, spherical particles (varying in size from 12 to 28 nm depending on the particle used) were found over the surfaces of all luteal cells and filling up extensive "channel" space formed by the apposed plasma membranes of adjacent microvilli or cytoplasmic surfaces. Only 30% of these tissue-associated particles were removable after prolonged washing with perfused media or heparin. Few intact particles were found inside the cells, despite the fact that the lipoproteins induced a substantial hormone response by the ovary. To determine the total protein internalized by cells during the course of the experiments, parallel biochemical experiments were carried out with nonreleasable (14C-sucrose-coupled) human LDL. Of the total bound 14C-sucrose LDL, only 8.5% was degraded (trichloroacetic acid-soluble) and presumed internalized by the cells. Thus, while large numbers of cholesterol-rich lipoprotein particles interact with the luteal cell surface in specialized microvillar channels and elicit a progesterone response, relatively few intact lipoprotein particles appear to enter the cells to be degraded. We speculate that in the luteinized ovary, a large majority of the lipoprotein-cholesterol transfer occurs at the surface of the luteal cells, and that the membranes of the microvillar channels are involved in this process.
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association