Aortic Lipid Metabolism
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).
KeywordsCholesteryl Ester Human Aorta Cholesteryl Ester Hydrolase Cholesteryl Oleate Aortic Plaque
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