High density lipoprotein was isolated from pooled rat serum and mesenteric lymph of lymph fistula rats. In most experiments, 5,5′-dithionitrobenzoic acid, an inhibitor of the enzyme lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase, was added during the collection of lymph to prevent modification of the lipid composition of newly secreted lipoproteins. Negative staining electron microscopy of lymph high density lipoprotein revealed discoidal particles (190±3 × 55±1 Å) which tended to form rouleaux, smaller spherical particles were also present. Serum high density lipoprotein contained only spherical particles (diameter 93±4 Å). Lipid analysis showed that lymph high density lipoprotein was enriched in phospholipid and deficient in cholesterol esters when compared to serum high density lipoprotein. The phospholipid to cholesterol esters ratio was greatest in basal lymph high density lipoprotein when compared to fatty lymph and serum high density lipoprotein. From analysis of the lipid compositional data and direct particle measurement by electron microscopy, it could be determined that ≅50% of basal lymph high density lipoprotein and 30% of fatty lymph high density lipoprotein was discoid. Basal lymph high density lipoprotein was enriched in apoA-I and deficient in the arginine-rich peptide, and the apoprotein composition of fatty lymph high density lipoprotein more closely resembled serum. These observations demonstrate that intestinal lymph contains two types of high density lipoprotein particles, a discoid nascent particle deficient in cholesterol ester and rich in apoA-I, and spherical high density lipoprotein derived from plasma. A significant amount of lymph high density lipoprotein appears to be secreted by the intestine.
P. H. R. Green, A. R. Tall, R. M. Glickman