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J Clin Invest. 1992 Oct;90(4):1504-12.

Lipoprotein lipase-mediated uptake and degradation of low density lipoproteins by fibroblasts and macrophages.

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Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York 10032.


Lipoprotein lipase (LPL), the rate limiting enzyme for hydrolysis of lipoprotein triglyceride, also mediates nonenzymatic interactions between lipoproteins and heparan sulfate proteoglycans. To determine whether cell surface LPL increases LDL binding to cells, bovine milk LPL was added to upregulated and nonupregulated human fibroblasts along with media containing LDL. LDL binding to cells was increased 2-10-fold, in a dose-dependent manner, by the addition of 0.5-10 micrograms/ml of LPL. The amount of LDL bound to the cells in the presence of LPL far exceeded the capacity for LDL binding via the LDL receptor. Treatment of fibroblasts with heparinase and heparitinase resulted in a 64% decrease in LPL-mediated LDL binding. Compared to studies performed without LPL, more LDL was internalized and degraded in the presence of LPL, but the time course was slower than that of classical lipoprotein receptor mediated pathways. In LDL receptor negative fibroblasts, LPL increased surface bound LDL > 140-fold, intracellular LDL > 40-fold, and LDL degradation > 6-fold. These effects were almost completely inhibited by heparin and anti-LPL monoclonal antibody. LPL also increased the binding and uptake by fibroblasts of apolipoprotein-free triglyceride emulsions; binding was increased > 8-fold and cellular uptake was increased > 40-fold with LPL. LPL increased LDL binding to THP-1 monocytes, and increased LDL uptake (4.5-fold) and LDL degradation (2.5-fold) by THP-1 macrophages. In the absence of added LPL, heparin and anti-LPL monoclonal antibodies decreased LDL degradation by > 40%, and triglyceride emulsion uptake by > 50%, suggesting that endogenously produced LPL mediated lipid particle uptake and degradation. We conclude that LPL increases lipid and lipoprotein uptake by cells via a pathway not involving the LDL receptor. This pathway may be important for lipid accumulation in LPL synthesizing cells.

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