Hepatic Cholesterol Homeostasis
Is the Low-Density Lipoprotein Pathway a Regulatory or a Shunt Pathway?
Objective—The hypothesis that cholesterol that enters the cell within low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles rapidly equilibrates with the regulatory pool of intracellular cholesterol and maintains cholesterol homeostasis by reducing cholesterol and LDL receptor synthesis was validated in the fibroblast but not in the hepatocyte. Accordingly, the present studies were designed to compare the effects of cholesterol that enters the hepatocyte within an LDL particle with those of cholesterol that enters via other lipoprotein particles.
Approach and Results—We measured cholesterol synthesis and esterification in hamster hepatocytes treated with LDL and other lipoprotein particles, including chylomicron remnants and very-LDL. Endogenous cholesterol synthesis was not significantly reduced by uptake of LDL, but cholesterol esterification (280%) and acyl CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase 2 expression (870%) were increased. In contrast, cholesterol synthesis was significantly reduced (70% decrease) with other lipoprotein particles. Furthermore, more cholesterol that entered the hepatocyte within LDL particles was secreted within very-LDL particles (480%) compared with cholesterol from other sources.
Conclusions—Much of the cholesterol that enters the hepatocyte within LDL particles is shunted through the cell and resecreted within very-LDL particles without reaching equilibrium with the regulatory pool.
- 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A
- high-density lipoproteins
- sterol O-acyltransferase
- very–low-density lipoproteins
- Received August 25, 2012.
- Accepted August 13, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.