Studies were performed to examine synthesis, tissue localization, and metabolism of mevalonic acid in normal rats. Circulating mevalonate was found to have a rapid turnover phase of 5 min and a slower phase of 40-50 min. Under in vitro conditions the synthesis of mevalonate is carried out most actively by the liver and only to a minor extent by the other tissues studied. The most unexpected finding of this study was that both in vivo and in vitro the kidneys rather than the liver are the primary site of the metabolism of circulating mevalonate. Whereas mevalonate in the liver is rapidly transformed to cholesterol, the major products of mevalonate metabolism in the renal tissues during the same time period are squalene and lanosterol. Exogenous in contrast to circulating mevalonate is metabolized primarily in the intestine.
Kjell H. Hellstrom, Marvin D. Siperstein, Lee A. Bricker, Lynne J. Luby