The uptake and metabolism of chylomicron-remnant lipids by individual liver cell types was examined by incubating remnants with monolayer cultures of hepatocytes, Kupffer cells, and endothelial cells from rat liver. Remnants were prepared in vitro from radiolabelled mesenteric-lymph chylomicra, utilizing either purified lipoprotein lipase from bovine milk, or plasma isolated from heparinized rats. The resulting particles contained [3H]phosphatidylcholine and cholesterol, and [14C]oleate in the acylglycerol, phospholipid, fatty-acid and cholesterol-ester fractions. The capacities of the three cell types for uptake of both [3H]lipids and [14C]lipids were determined to be, on a per-cell basis, in the order: Kupffer greater than hepatocytes greater than endothelial. The relative proportions of [3H]phospholipid and total [3H]cholesterol taken up by hepatocytes and non-parenchymal cells remained constant with time. The uptake of [14C]oleoyl lipids by all three cell types was slightly greater than that of the total [3H]cholesterol and [3H]phospholipid components. There was evidence of cholesterol-ester hydrolysis and turnover of [14C]oleate in the phospholipid fraction in hepatocytes and Kupffer cells, but not endothelial cells, over the first 2 h. With both remnant preparations, these observations indicate that significant differences exist between the three major liver cell types with respect to the uptake and metabolism of remnant lipid components.

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