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Vet Res Commun. 1997 Jan;21(1):1-8.

Decreased serum lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase activity in spontaneous cases of fatty liver in cows.

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  • 1Ishikawa Hokubu Livestock Hygiene Service Centre, Japan.


Lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) activity in serum was evaluated in spontaneous cases of fatty liver in cows. The enzyme activity of 631 +/- 62 U (mean +/- SEM, decrease in nmol of free cholesterol per h per ml of serum) in cows with fatty liver (n = 16) was significantly (p < 0.01) lower than that in cows without fatty liver (979 +/- 22 U; n = 16). In addition to the decrease in LCAT activity, the concentrations of phosphatidylcholine (a fatty aryl donor for esterification of free cholesterol) and of cholesteryl esters (products of the LCAT reaction) were reduced in the high-density lipoprotein fractions from cows with fatty livers. The concentrations in the serum of apolipoprotein A-I, an activator of LCAT, was also reduced in cows with fatty livers. These results suggest that the decreased LCAT activity, which may be attributable to impaired hepatic secretion or to the suppression of the activity in the plasma by reduced concentrations of phosphatidylcholine and apolipoprotein A-I, resulted in the lower concentrations of cholesteryl esters. Because cholesteryl esters are utilized in steroidogenic tissues for the synthesis of steroid hormones such as progesterone and glucocorticoids, and insufficient supply of the cholesterols may be of relevance to the reduced fertility and immune competence observed in cows with fatty livers.

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