, Volume 28, Issue 8, pp 709-713

Bile acid and very low density lipoprotein production by cultured hepatocytes from hypo- orhyperresponsive rabbits fedcholesterol

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Two groups of rabbits, either hyperresponsive or hyporesponsive to dietary cholesterol, wereselected after ten weeks of cholesterol feeding (0.2 g cholesterol/kg body weight per day). Bile acids and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) production were determined in primary hepatocyte cultures from control, hyper- and hyporesponsive rabbits. Free cholesterol and cholesteryl ester contents in hepatocytes of the hyperresponsive rabbits was significantly increased. In contrast, lipid composition in hepatocytes of the hyporesponders was similar to that of control cells. Cholic acid was the predominant bile acid in the culture medium of hepatocytes together with small amounts of chenodeoxycholic and deoxycholic acids. The rate of cholic acid production by hepatocytes in the hyporesponsive group was two times higher than that in the hyperresponsive group. Bile acid production by control hepatocytes was slightly higher than in the hyperresponsive group. In contrast, secretion of VLDL cholesteryl ester was significantly increased by hepatocytes of the hyperresponsive rabbits. Similar differences, in bile acid production were found between hypo- and hyperresponsive rabbits selected after five days of cholesterol feeding and subsequent maintenance on a low cholesterol diet for a period of one month. The results suggest that the increased rate of bile acid production could contribute to the apparent resistance of hyporesponders to the atherogenic diet.