The effects of exogenous apo E-3 and of cholesterol-enriched measls on the binding, cell association and proteolytic degradation of human chylomicrons and their remnants were determined in cultured human skin fibroblasts. Chylomicrons were prepared from plasma of normolopemic humans 4 h after a fat meal with normal or high cholesterol content. Remnants were obtained after incubation of chylomicrons with lipoprotein lipase in vitro. Cellular metabolism of chylomicrons was minimal, less than 10% that of LDL. Exogenous apo E-3 enchanced chylomicron metabolis by 3-4-fold. The cellular metabolism of remnants was 2.5-3.5-fold higher as compared to intact chylomicrons but their response to exogenous apo E-3 was considerable lower. The cellular metabolism of chylomicrons and chylomicron remnants obtained from subjects eating cholesterol-enriched fat meal was the highest either without or with added exogenous apo E-3. Yet, even in the preparation that exhibits the highest metabolic activity (apo E-3 enriched remnants from cholesterol-enriched meals) the absolute proteolytic degradation was about two-thirds that of LDL. We conclude that although LDL-receptors take up and degrade chylomicron remnants, the rate of catabolism of remnants by this route can not explain the rapid and complete remnant removal process as observed in vivo. © 1991.
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