We evaluated the role of apolipoprotein E (apoE) in the clearance of neutral and negatively charged liposomes by hepatocytes in apoE-deficient mice. Negatively charged liposomes were cleared at identical rates in apoE-deficient and wild-type mice; neutral liposomes were cleared at a 3.6-fold slower rate in apoE-deficient mice. ApoE deficiency did not affect hepatic uptake of negatively charged liposomes but lowered that of neutral liposomes >5-fold. Hepatocyte uptake of neutral liposomes was reduced >20-fold in apoE-deficient mice; that of negatively charged liposomes remained unchanged. We conclude that uptake of neutral liposomes by hepatocytes is nearly exclusively apoE-mediated. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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