Effect of Lysolecithin on the Transport of Plasma Cholesterol to Tissues: Developmental Aspects
Our laboratory has been engaged for several years in the study of the effect of specific phospholipids on the transfer of cholesterol to biological membranes (1–3). We proved under in vitro conditions that the affinity of cholesterol for these membranes, in the same way as for soluble serum lipoproteins, depends on the specific phospholipid carrier. It appeared that, as regards cholesterol, the most interesting phospholipid is lysolecithin. The micelles of lysolecithin have a comparatively low molecular weight; they are very stable in aqueous medium, they have a low affinity to the soluble plasma lipoproteins and a high affinity, of a higher order than lecithin, to the tissue lipoproteins (4). This knowledge led us to a more detailed study of the role of lysolecithin as a potential transport vehicle for cholesterol also under in vivo conditions. As shown by Glomset in 1962 (5), lysolecithin appears in the plasma as a product of transesterification of lecithin with cholesterol, which is controlled by the enzyme lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase. The metabolic fate of this lysolecithin originating the plasma, was not studied until now, although Portman with his co-workers (6) pointed out the significance of lysolecithin in atherogenesis. They found namely the dependence between the increase of activity of the plasmatic lecithin — cholesterol — acyltransferase and the increased content of cholesterol and lysolecithin in the arteries of hypercholesterolemic squirrel monkeys.
KeywordsTotal Cholesterol Cholesterol Ester Free Cholesterol Cholesterol Acyltransferase Acyl Transferase
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