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Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1988 Sep;188(4):410-9.

Effect of copper deficiency on the lymphatic absorption of cholesterol, plasma chylomicron clearance, and postheparin lipase activities.

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Department of Biochemistry, Oral Roberts University School of Medicine, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74171.


The lymphatic absorption of cholesterol and plasma clearance of chylomicrons were investigated in Cu-deficient rats (CuD) fed 0.5 mg Cu/kg diet, as compared with Cu-adequate control rats (CuA) fed 7.5 mg/kg diet. Cholesterol absorption was measured by the 14C-radioactivity appearing in the mesenteric lymph at hourly intervals for 8 hr after an intraduodenal dose of [14C]cholesterol. The plasma clearance of chylomicrons was measured at 3, 6, and 10 min after an intravenous dose of chylomicrons labeled in vivo with [3H]retinyl ester. Cumulative [14C]cholesterol absorption and total lymphatic output of cholesterol were significantly decreased in CuD at 4 hr and thereafter, with no change in percentage distribution of free and esterified cholesterol. Over an 8-hr period, 7.3% of the dose was absorbed by CuD and 9.2% by CuA. When [3H]chylomicrons, obtained from a CuD or CuA donor rat, were injected into CuD and CuA recipient rats, the label was cleared faster in CuD during the first 3 min. At 6 and 10 min, however, no significant difference in percentage clearance of the dose was observed between the groups. The half-life (t1/2) of [3H]chylomicrons and the total 3H-radioactivity taken up by the liver during the entire 10-min period did not differ between the groups, regardless of the source of chylomicrons. The activities of both endothelial lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and hepatic lipase (HL) in postheparin plasma were markedly lower in CuD. As expressed in micromoles fatty acid released/hr/ml plasma, the activities of LPL in CuD and CuA were 32.6 +/- 1.9 and 45.6 +/- 1.3, respectively. A similar magnitude of difference was also observed in HL activity. The data provide evidence that copper deficiency impairs the intestinal transport of cholesterol and the peripheral lipolysis of chylomicrons. The data, however, strongly suggest that the hepatic uptake of chylomicron remnants via the apo-E-dependent mechanism may not be impaired in Cu deficiency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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