Transfer of plasma lipoprotein components and of plasma proteins into aortas of cholesterol-fed rabbits. Molecular size as a determinant of plasma lipoprotein influx

Arteriosclerosis. 1981 Jan-Feb;1(1):38-49. doi: 10.1161/01.atv.1.1.38.


The arterial influx of esterified and free cholesterol from low density lipoproteins and very low density lipoproteins in 20 hypercholesterolemic rabbits was measured simultaneously by the use of lipoproteins labeled in vivo with [3H]- and [14C]-cholesterol. The simultaneous arterial influx of either [3H]-leucine-labeled very low density lipoproteins, low density lipoproteins, high density lipoproteins, or plasma proteins was also measured in each rabbit. The arterial influx was calculated as intimal clearance, i.e., the influx of a given fraction divided by its plasma concentration. The intimal clearance of low density lipoprotein esterified cholesterol was equal to that for the apolipoproteins of that fraction, which is compatible with an arterial influx of intact low density lipoprotein molecules. The intimal clearance of very low density apolipoprotein or cholesteryl ester was less than that for low density lipoprotein, whereas high density lipoprotein and albumin clearances exceeded low density lipoprotein clearance by 1.5- to 3-fold. The intimal clearances of plasma proteins, high density, low density, and very low density lipoproteins decreased linearly with the logarithm of the macromolecular diameter. This indicates that the arterial influx of three plasma lipoprotein fractions and of plasma proteins proceeds by similar mechanisms. Apparently the relative intimal clearances of lipoproteins are more dependent on their size relative to pores or vesicular diameters at the plasma-artery interface than on specific interactions between lipoproteins and the arterial intimal surface.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aorta / metabolism*
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cholesterol, Dietary / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Lipoproteins / metabolism*
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / metabolism
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / metabolism
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL / metabolism
  • Molecular Weight
  • Rabbits
  • Radioisotopes


  • Blood Proteins
  • Cholesterol, Dietary
  • Lipoproteins
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL
  • Radioisotopes