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J Biochem. 1996 Feb;119(2):240-5.

Age-related changes in lipid secretion of perfused livers from male Wistar rats donors.

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Laboratory of Metabolism and Pathological Biochemistry, Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome.


Male Wistar rats show typical age-related variations in the distribution of high-density lipoprotein subfractions that include an increase in HDL1 and a decrease in HDL2 proportion. The role of liver in these variations was evaluated by studying the lipoprotein and bile secretions from perfused livers of 14 +/- 1 and 3.5 +/- 0.5 month old Wistar rats (adult and young animals, respectively). The lipid content of lipoproteins secreted from adult livers was higher in HDL2 fraction and lower in VLDL fraction. The lipid output did not show significant age-related variations in the case of HDL1 fraction. However, the lipoproteins secreted from adult livers contained a higher proportion of phospholipids, and a lower proportion of triacylglycerols in comparison with lipoproteins secreted by young livers. Therefore, the molar ratio of core to surface lipids was lower in lipoproteins secreted by adult livers. Adult livers showed a reduction in bile flow by about 37% with a significantly higher phospholipid secretion. These findings suggest that both the hepatic metabolism of glycerophospholipids and their repartition between plasma and bile compartments are affected by aging process. In conclusion, present data show that the age-related increase in plasma HDL1 proportion, previously observed in this rat strain in vivo, are not due to a higher liver secretion of these particles. Conversely, liver appears to have a major role in the age-related VLDL increase and in the variations of phospholipid lipoprotein secretion.

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