S. Ghosh, M. Armstrong, M. B. Megan
To evaluate changes in arterial wall uptake of an atherogenic lipoprotein in early atherogenesis the uptake of labelled low density lipoprotein was measured in four segments of aorta in Cynomolgus monkeys with diet induced fatty streaks. The influx rate of low density lipoprotein was estimated from a simple kinetic model. The mean influx rate, expressed as plasma equivalents of tracer, was 69 nl.cm-2 per hour in fatty streak monkeys and 28 nl.cm-2 per hour in controls (p less than 0.001). Using additional assumptions, provisional estimates of the rates of apparent efflux were calculated. In fatty streak monkeys the mean apparent efflux rate, relative to the accumulation of tracer in the wall, did not differ significantly from the efflux rate in controls (8.7% per hour vs 7.9% per hour, p greater than 0.05). Thus intimal permeability to low density lipoprotein is increased at the fatty streak stage of lesion formation but apparent efflux may not be changed. The data fit the hypothesis that relative failure of efflux is a major cause of excess low density lipoprotein accumulation in the vessel wall in hypercholesterolaemia.