These studies report the effects of dietary cholesterol and triglyceride on rates of receptor-dependent and receptor-independent LDL transport in the liver of the hamster. In animals fed diets enriched with 0.1, 0.25, or 1% cholesterol for 1 mo, receptor-dependent LDL transport in the liver was suppressed by 43, 63, and 77%, respectively, and there were reciprocal changes in plasma LDL-cholesterol concentrations. In addition, dietary triglycerides modified the effect of dietary cholesterol on hepatic LDL transport and plasma LDL concentrations so that at each level of cholesterol intake, polyunsaturated triglycerides diminished and saturated triglycerides accentuated the effect of dietary cholesterol. When animals were raised from weaning on diets containing small amounts of cholesterol, the decline in receptor-dependent LDL transport was nearly abolished by the addition of polyunsaturated or monounsaturated triglycerides, but was markedly augmented by the addition of saturated lipids. When animals raised on diets containing cholesterol and saturated triglycerides were returned to the low cholesterol, low triglyceride control diet, hepatic receptor-dependent LDL transport and plasma LDL-cholesterol concentrations returned essentially to normal within 2 wk. Neither receptor-independent LDL transport nor the receptor-dependent uptake of asialofetuin was significantly altered by dietary cholesterol or triglyceride suggesting that the effect of these lipids on hepatic LDL receptor activity was specific and not due to a generalized alteration in the physiochemical properties of hepatic membranes. These studies demonstrate the important role of saturated triglycerides in augmenting the effect of cholesterol in suppressing hepatic LDL receptor activity and elevating LDL-cholesterol levels.
D K Spady, J M Dietschy