Plasma LDL levels and atherosclerosis both increase on a saturated fat–rich (SAT) diet. LDL cholesterol delivery to tissue may occur via uptake of the LDL particles or via selective uptake (SU), wherein cholesteryl ester (CE) enters cells without concomitant whole-particle uptake. It is not known how dietary fats might directly affect arterial LDL-CE uptake and whether SU is involved. Thus, mice that are relatively atherosclerosis resistant (C57BL/6) or susceptible to atherosclerosis (apoE–/–) were fed a chow or SAT diet and injected with double radiolabeled or fluorescent-labeled human LDL to independently trace LDL-CE core and whole-particle uptake, respectively. Our results show that a SAT diet increased contributions of SU to total arterial LDL-CE delivery in C57BL/6 and apoE–/– mice. The SAT diet increased plasma fatty acid and cholesterol levels; cholesterol, but not fatty acid, levels correlated with SU, as did the degree of atherosclerosis. Increased SU did not correlate with arterial scavenger receptor class B type I levels but paralleled increased lipoprotein lipase (LPL) levels and LPL distribution in the arterial wall. These studies suggest that arterial LDL-CE delivery via SU can be an important mechanism in vivo and that dietary influences on arterial LPL levels and atherogenesis modulate arterial LDL-CE delivery, cholesterol deposition, and SU.


Toru Seo, Kemin Qi, Chuchun Chang, Ying Liu, Tilla S. Worgall, Rajasekhar Ramakrishnan, Richard J. Deckelbaum


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