The low density lipoprotein receptor and one of its ligands, apoprotein E, are known to be synthesized in the central nervous system. In the current study, we used in situ hybridization to localize the receptor mRNA in selected neurons and glia throughout the nervous system of 9-day-old rabbits. Particularly high levels were found in sensory ganglia, sensory nuclei, and motor-related nuclei. The same regions contained high levels of mRNA for 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A synthase, a regulated enzyme in cholesterol biosynthesis. The distribution of low density lipoprotein receptor mRNA was similar in mature and immature rabbits. The data suggest that certain cells in the nervous system have high requirements for cholesterol, which they satisfy through cholesterol synthesis and through receptor-mediated uptake of cholesterol-carrying lipoproteins. The latter originate in astrocytes which synthesize and secrete apoprotein E. These data suggest that the nervous system of mammals contains an active system for continuous redistribution and recycling of cholesterol that is physically distinct from the lipoprotein transport system in plasma.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1988|
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