, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 240–245 | Cite as

Lipoproteins of fetal and newborn calves and adult steer: A study of developmental changes

  • Trudy M. Forte
  • Julia J. Bell-Quint
  • Fenny Cheng


Serum lipoproteins in fetal and newborn calves were characterized and compared with those of adult animals. Fetal calf serum contains only low density (LDL) and high density (HDL) lipoproteins; the LDL is the major lipoprotein class. Fetal LDL are ca. 26.0 nm diameter and are morphologically unusual in that particles form linear aggregates or “chains” in which LDL have flattened, parallel sides. These particles contain only apolipoprotein B and are high in polar lipids. Fetal HDL consist of 8.2-nm, round particles which contain large amounts of chlesteryl ester thus suggesting an active lecithin: cholesterol acyltransferase system in the fetal state. The major protein in fetal HDL is apolipoprotein A−I (80%); however, another component with a molecular weight (MW) of ca. 9,000 is also present. Newborn calves show a 5-fold increase in HDL concentration. These particles are 9.0 nm spherical particles and they contain mainly apolipoprotein A−I although C-apolipoproteins are also present; the lipid and apolipoprotein composition of newborn HDL is similar to that of adults. Newborn calves possess very low density (VLDL) lipoproteins which have a mean diameter of 61 nm and are similar in size and composition to those of adult animals; their apolipoprotein composition is principally apolipoprotein B, although C-apolipoproteins and apolipoprotein A−I are also present. The LDL of neonatal and adult animals are similar in morphology, chemical composition and apolipoprotein content. In both instances, LDL are round particles ca. 19.0 nm diameter which contain less polar lipids than the fetal animal. Apolipoprotein B is the major protein in newborn LDL, but adult LDL additionally contains a protein of 27,000 MW which probably represents apolipoprotein A−I from overlapping α-migrating particles in this region. The altered morphology and composition of fetal LDL, together with the lack of VLDL, suggest that the LDL particles may be synthesized de novo.


Cholesteryl Ester Mature Animal Lipoprotein Fraction Newborn Calf Serum Round Particle 
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Copyright information

© American Oil Chemists’ Society 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Trudy M. Forte
    • 1
  • Julia J. Bell-Quint
    • 1
  • Fenny Cheng
    • 1
  1. 1.Donner Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeley

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