Aortic Lipid Metabolism

  • David Kritchevsky
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 51)


Windaus (1) was one of the first investigators to demonstrate the presence of inordinate amounts of cholesterol ester in atherosclerotic aortas. Analyses of the lipids of aortic plaques revealed that their composition was roughly comparable to that of plasma (Table 1) and these findings lent support to the hypothesis that aortic lipids were derived from the blood. However it has been shown that aortas of children contain either very little choles- teryl ester or none (6), so that aortic lipids cannot be due to filtration of plasma. The aorta can synthesize fatty acids (7) and phospholipids (8, 9) but its cholesterol is derived almost entirely from the blood (10, 11). Calculations of the extent of transfer of cholesterol into the human aorta based on the formula: that transfer (mg. cholesterol per day per gm tissue) is the product of aortic cholesterol content (mg/g) by aortic cholesterol specific activity (% plasma) divided by days times 100 suggest a net transfer of 0.30-0.45 mg/gm aorta/day (12–14).


Cholesteryl Ester Human Aorta Cholesteryl Ester Hydrolase Cholesteryl Oleate Aortic Plaque 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Kritchevsky
    • 1
  1. 1.The Wistar Institute of Anatomy and BiologyPhiladelphiaUSA

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