Cholesterol efflux in vivo from a depot of cationized LDL injected into a thigh muscle of small rodents

Olga Stein, Yedida Dabach, Gideon Hollander, Mazal Ben-Naim, Gideon Halperin, Elimelech Okon, Yechezkiel Stein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have developed a model system to measure quantitatively removal of cholesterol from a well-defined depot in vivo. To that end, lipoproteins were injected into the rectus femoris muscle of small rodents, using a 25 μl Hamilton syringe and a 27-gauge needle. In most experiments, the injected volume was 10 μl containing 200 μg of cholesterol. The lipoproteins tested were native or modified LDL labeled with trace amounts of [3H]free cholesterol ([3H]FC). The amount of label or of cholesterol mass recovered at various time intervals after injection was normalized to that found after 10 min (designated time 0). In mice, the highest recovery of the [3H]cholesterol 24 h after injection was found with cationized LDL, and ranged between 78% and 84%, whereas retention of native LDL did not exceed 24%. Based on results of 9 experiments with cationized LDL, the loss of [3H]FC was mono-exponential between 1 and 14 days and the t(1/2) was about 4 days. The disappearance curve of cholesterol mass showed an initial slow and a later more rapid component, the latter with a t(1/2) of 4 days. The initial lag is most probably due to the presence of cholesteryl ester, which needs to be hydrolyzed prior to egress. This assumption was verified by injection of cat-LDL labeled with [3H]cholesteryl oleate and finding a similar lag as well as evidence of [3H]cholesteryl ester hydrolysis. Histological examination of the injected muscle 1-4 days after injection of cat LDL showed infiltration with mononuclear cells in an area limited to the site of injection. The presently described model system, which mimics to some extent events occurring during atherogenesis, permits quantitative evaluation of egress of deposited cholesterol and may allow to study the role of HDL in such a process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
Mario Shapiro Fund
Hebrew University of Jerusalem


    • Atheroma
    • Atherosclerosis
    • Cationized LDL
    • Cholesteryl ester
    • Mouse
    • Rat
    • Reverse cholesterol transport


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