The origin of cholesterol in the mesenteric lymph of the rat

E. F. Stange, J. M. Dietschy

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3 Scopus citations


These studies were performed to quantitate the amounts of newly synthesized cholesterol secreted in the mesenteric lymph of the rat and to define the origin of this cholesterol. In control animals receiving no dietary fat, the amount of newly synthesized sterol entering the lymph increased linearly with respect to time over 24 hr. When a continuous intravenous infusion of chylomicrons was given or when the animals were prefed a diet containing 2.0% cholesterol to inhibit hepatic, but not intestinal or peripheral, cholesterol synthesis, the secretion of newly synthesized sterol in lymph was markedly suppressed, suggesting that the liver was its ultimate site of origin. When the animals were subjected to either blockade of intestinal cholesterol absorption or biliary diversion, there was a decrease in both the newly synthesized and total mass of cholesterol in lymph by approximately 60%, indicating that the majority was normally derived from the absorption of luminal (primarily biliary) sterol. In the absence of dietary cholesterol, the remainder was probably derived from plasma lipoproteins that were filtered through the intestinal capillaries into the lymph. In contrast, when lymph was collected during active fat absorption, the intestine was found to secrete sterol newly synthesized by the epithelium. Such newly synthesized cholesterol was found predominantly in the unesterified fraction and accounted for approximately 27% of the total sterol found in lymph at the end of the experiment. From these studies it was concluded that in the absence of fat absorption, sterol synthesized in the intestinal mucosa was incorporated predominantly into cell membranes and did not enter intestinal lymph to any significant degree. However, during fat absorption, a fraction of this newly synthesized sterol pool was incorporated into lipoproteins and so was delivered through the intestinal lymph of the body pools of cholesterol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-184
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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