1. Labelled thoracic-duct lymph was collected from rats and rabbits after test meals containing [14C]cholesterol and [2-3H]glyceryl trioleate. 2. The metabolism of labelled cholesterol and triglyceride was studied in normally fed and cholesterol-fed rats and rabbits injected with radioactive lymph from the same species. 3. In normally fed animals of both species, 10min after intravenous administration, about 80% of lymph cholesteryl ester but only about 10% of triglyceride was recovered in the liver after clearance from the plasma. This distribution is consistent with participation of ‘remnant’ particles in the metabolism of dietary lymph particles. 4. The metabolism of cleared lymph lipoprotein constituents was unchanged in cholesterol-fed rats, but the recovery of cholesteryl ester in the livers of the cholesterol-fed rabbits was decreased to 30% of the cleared dose. 5. The low recovery in cholesterol-fed rabbits was accounted for mainly by increased hydrolysis of cholesteryl ester. 6. It is proposed that differences between rats and rabbits in metabolism of dietary cholesterol might be partly due to the observed enhancement of hydrolysis of lymph lipoprotein cholesteryl ester in rabbits.

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