1. Chronic (5 weeks) alcohol-fed and isocaloric glucose pair-fed control rats had similar body weights, liver weights and liver protein contents.
2. Hepatic esterified cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels were two- to three-fold higher in alcohol-fed rats than in controls.
3. Hepatic cholesterol synthesis rates measured in vivo with 3H2O were significantly reduced in alcohol-fed rats.
4. Hepatic 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (NADPH) (EC 188.8.131.52) activity was increased and the apparent Km for 3-hydroxymethyl-3-glutaryl-CoA was decreased in alcohol-fed rats.
5. Hepatic acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (cholesterol acyltransferase; EC 184.108.40.206) activity was significantly increased in alcohol-fed rats.
6. These results indicate that there is no direct relationship between 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase activity and sterol synthesis in liver of alcohol-fed rats.