The localization of LDL receptors in adrenal gland, liver, and intestine was studied using immunohistochemistry. The anti-LDL receptor antibody used was shown to be monospecific and did not react with striated muscle, a tissue which has a very low level of LDL receptors. Similarly, cerebral cortex showed only faint reactivity and that was to an area previously demonstrated to have LDL receptors. Adrenal gland was intensely reactive with the zona fasciculata, having a greater density of receptors than the zona reticularis. In normal liver, LDL receptors were present on the sinusoidal membranes and were sparse in the areas of hepatocyte-to-hepatocyte contact without an obvious portal to central gradient. LDL receptors were present throughout the intestine. In jejunum, staining was most intense at the base of the villus and extended up toward the villus tip. At the base of the villus, the receptor was primarily at the basal lateral membrane, but toward the villus tip, there was appreciable intracellular staining. Staining in crypts was more faint; in duodenum, staining in crypts equaled that in the villus region in intensity. In colon, there was intense staining throughout the epithelial cells. These results provide new information about the cellular and subcellular localization of LDL receptors and raise the interesting possibility that there is a role for LDL-derived cholesterol in new lipoprotein formation.
L G Fong, E Bonney, J C Kosek, A D Cooper