Regulation of low density lipoprotein receptors by adrenocorticotropin in the adrenal gland of mice and rats in vivo

P. T. Kovanen, J. L. Goldstein, D. A. Chappell, M. S. Brown

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Membranes prepared from the adrenal gland of mice and rats possess high affinity binding sites that recognize 125I-labeled human low density lipoprotein (LDL). These binding sites resemble the functional LDL receptors that mediate the uptake of LDL by cultured mouse and bovine adrenal cells. The number of LDL binding sites per mg of membrane protein increased 2- to 5-fold over 24 h when mice or rats were treated with adrenocorticotropin (ACTH). In rats, this increase was accompanied by a similar ACTH-induced increase in the adrenal uptake of intravenously administered 125I-LDL, suggesting that the LDL binding sites mediate the uptake of LDL binding sites on adrenal membranes rose by 5-fold when animals were rendered lipoprotein-deficient, either by treatment of mice with 4-aminopyrazolopyrimidine or by treatment of rats with 17α-ethinyl estradiol. This increase was prevented when endogenous ACTH secretion was blocked by administration of dexamethasone, suggesting that ACTH was required. The current experiments suggest that LDL receptors provide one source of cholesterol for the mouse and rat adrenal in vivo and that the number of LDL receptors in this organ is regulated by ACTH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5591-5598
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1980


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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