Omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids are emerging as bioactive agents protective against cardiovascular disease. However, their cellular delivery pathways are poorly defined. Here we questioned whether the uptake of n-3 triglyceride-rich particles (TGRP) is mediated by cell surface proteoglycans (PG) using LDL receptor (LDLR)+/+ and LDLR-/- cell models. LDLR+/+ but not LDLR-/- cells showed higher n-6 over n-3 TGRP uptake. Removal of cell surface proteins and receptors by pronase markedly enhanced the uptake of n-3 but not n-6 TGRP. Lactoferrin blockage of apoE-mediated pathways decreased the uptake of n-6 TGRP by up to 85% (p<0.05) but had insignificant effect on n-3 TGRP uptake. PG removal by sodium chlorate in LDLR+/+ cells substantially reduced n-3 TGRP uptake but had little effect on n-6 TGRP uptake. Thus, while n-6 TGRP uptake is preferentially mediated by LDLR-dependent pathways, the uptake of n-3 TGRP depends more on PG and non-LDLR cell surface anchoring.
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