On intravevous injection to rats, decasaccharides gave rise to a short-lived peak of lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity, whereas octa- and hexasaccharides caused only marginal increases. In isolated hearts perfused by a single pass, decasaccharides released LPL more efficiently than conventional heparin on a mass basis. Octa- and hexasaccharides were much less efficient. Similar results were obtained for hepatic lipase, which was studied both in vivo and by liver perfusion. In the intact rat, the heparin fragments themselves disappeared rapidly from the circulating blood. The decay of hepatic lipase activity after the early peak roughly paralleled the decay of decasaccharide concentration, but for LPL the decay was faster, presumably because the liver extracted this lipase from plasma. To assess the lipase activities remaining in contact with blood a large dose of conventional heparin was injected at a series of times after the decasaccharides. LPL was decreased by 40% after 1 h. At that time, the LPL activity that could be released from isolated hearts by single-pass perfusion with heparin for 2 min (‘functional LPL’) was decreased by 75%. Chylomicrons labelled in vivo with [14C]oleic acid (primarily in triacylglycerols, providing a tracer for lipolysis) and [3H]retinol (primarily in ester form, providing a tracer for the particles) were injected intravenously to explore the effects of the LPL depletion on lipoprotein metabolism. Triacylglycerol lipolysis and particle clearance was markedly delayed from 30 min to 2 h after injection of decasaccharides. After 1 h the fractional catabolic rate was only one-third of the control value and the catabolism of chylomicron triacylglycerols by perfused hearts was delayed to a similar extent. Thus injection of decasaccharides leads to accelerated turnover of LPL with loss of functional LPL from extrahepatic tissues. This in turn leads to a period of delayed lipolysis and removal of chylomicron particles.

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