The authors compared the ability of human serum and peripheral lymph to suppress the activity of 3 hydroxy 3 methylgutaryl coenzyme A reductase (HMG-CoA reductase), to activate cholesteryl ester synthesis, and to compete with 125I-labeled low density lipoprotein (LDL) for binding to LDL receptors in cultured human fibroblasts. Whole lymph was active in all three tests and the activity per unit volume in lymph was congruent with 1/10th that in serum. All 3 biologic activities in lymph were confined to the d<1.063 g/ml fraction. Whole lymph had no significant effect on HMG-CoA reductase activity in fibrocholesterolemia, whose cells lack LDL receptors. The LDL-like biologic activity per unit mass of immunologically active apoprotein B was approximately the same in lymph as in serum. The current data indicate that functionally active LDL is present in lymph and that the concentration of this lipoprotein is congruent with 1/10th that in serum.
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