Low density lipoprotein (LDL)-binding activity was measured in whole homogenates and membranes prepared from fresh bovine adrenal cortex by an ultracentrifugation assay. The binding site for 125I-labeled LDL in isolated membranes shared the properties of the LDL receptor previously demonstrated in intact monolayers of cultured bovine adrenocortical cells. The amount of high affinity [125I]iodo-LDL-binding activity in the adrenal cortex was 6- to 12-fold higher than in the medulla of the same glands. Large amounts of high affinity [125I]iodo- LDL-binding activity were also present in the ovarian corpus luteum but not in the ovarian interstitium. Lesser amounts of high affinity binding activity were observed in 14 other bovine tissues. These results lend support to the concept that cells in the bovine adrenal cortex can obtain cholesterol for steroid hormone synthesis through the receptor-mediated uptake of plasma LDL.
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