Regulatory effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on hepatic LDL uptake in the hamster and rat

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29 Scopus citations


These studies were undertaken to investigate the mechanisms involved in the regulation of hepatic low density lipoprotein (LDL) transport by n-3 fatty acids in the hamster and rat. Animals were fed n-3 or n-6 fatty acids with a cholesterol-free, very-low-fat semisynthetic diet, or with a diet enriched with cholesterol and saturated fat. Although the enrichment of liver lipids with dietary n-3 fatty acids was similar in hamsters and rats, the effect of n-3 fatty acids on hepatic LDL transport differed in the two species. In the hamster, n-3 fatty acids had no effect on hepatic receptor- dependent LDL uptake in animals fed a cholesterol-free, very-low-fat diet and suppressed receptor-dependent transport in animals fed a diet enriched with cholesterol and saturated triglyceride. In hamsters fed n-3 fatty acids, changes in receptor-dependent LDL transport were accompanied by parallel changes in LDL receptor mRNA, indicating regulation of the receptor at the pretranslational level. In the rat, on the other hand, dietary n-3 fatty acids enhanced hepatic receptor-dependent LDL uptake by nearly twofold regardless of the background diet; however, hepatic LDL receptor protein and mRNA were unchanged. Dietary n-3 fatty acids did not enhance hepatic chylomicron remnant clearance in the rat. These studies confirm marked species differences in response to n-3 fatty acids and suggest that n-3 fatty acids accelerate hepatic receptor-dependent LDL transport in the ray by altering the distribution or recycling of LDL receptors or via effects on a different receptor pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1009-1020
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1995


  • LDL receptor
  • LDL receptor mRNA
  • LDL receptor-related protein/α- macroglobulin receptor
  • VLDL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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