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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2005 Jan;25(1):143-8. Epub 2004 Nov 4.

Scavenger receptor class B type I mediates the selective uptake of high-density lipoprotein-associated cholesteryl ester by the liver in mice.

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University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.



High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesteryl esters (CE) are taken up by liver and adrenals selectively, ie, independent from particle internalization. Class B type I scavenger receptor (SR-BI) mediates this uptake in vitro. The role of SR-BI in HDL metabolism was explored in mice.


Mice with a mutation in the SR-BI gene (SR-BI KO) and wild-type (WT) littermates were used. Mutants had increased HDL cholesterol. HDL was labeled with 125I (protein) and [3H] (CE). After HDL injection, blood samples were drawn and finally the mice were euthanized. In WT, the plasma decay of HDL-associated [3H] is faster compared with 125I and this represents whole-body selective CE uptake. In SR-BI KO, the decay of both tracers is similar, yielding no selective CE removal. In WT liver and adrenals, uptake of [3H] is higher than 125I, showing selective uptake. In SR-BI KO, liver uptake of [3H] and 125I are similar, proposing no selective HDL CE uptake. In SR-BI KO adrenals, selective uptake is reduced; however, even in the absence of SR-BI, this uptake is detected using WT-HDL.


SR-BI mediates selective uptake of HDL CE by the liver. In adrenals, an alternative mechanism or mechanisms can play a role in selective CE uptake.

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