In Vivo Apoprotein Catabolism of High Density Lipoproteins in Copper-Deficient, Hypercholesterolemic Rats

Timothy P. Carr, K. Y. Lei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


High density lipoprotein (HDL) apoprotein catabolism was examined in male Sprague-Dawley rats deficient in dietary copper. Twenty-four rats were randomly divided into two groups: copper-adequate (control, 5 mg of copper/kg diet) and copper-deficient (0.6 mg of copper/kg diet). After 5 weeks, animals were administered a tracer dose of iodinated HDL protein previously isolated from donor rats that were subjected to the same dietary treatments as the test animals. Copper-deficient rats exhibited a 54% increase in plasma volume and a 26% increase in HDL protein concentration above controls. Consequently, the intravascular pool of total HDL protein was increased 2-fold. The fractional catabolic rate of total HDL protein was similar between groups. However, because of the increased intravascular HDL pool in copper-deficient animals, the absolute catabolic rate was greater (640 ± 49 μg/hr vs 316 ± 12 μg/hr in controls). Tissue uptake of total HDL protein in copper-deficient rats tended to be greater in the kidneys, spleen, and testes compared with controls; the heart exhibited a significant 2.3-fold increase. In contrast, the catabolic rate of HDL protein in the liver and adrenal gland were not different between treatment groups. That an obligatory increase in HDL protein uptake was not observed in the liver and adrenal gland (organs which are sensitive to and can further metabolize cholesterol) suggests that these organs may be regulated, possibly contributing to the observed hypercholesterolemia in this model. These data imply that total HDL apoprotein catabolism is increased in response to the increased intravascular pool of HDL in copper-deficient rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-376
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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