Hypercholesterolemia is a consistent feature of the nephrotic syndrome. However, the mechanisms underlying this perturbation are unclear. In the present work, we have investigated different factors that influence hepatic cholesterol metabolism using the nephrotic rat as a model. The induction of nephrosis resulted in a severe and sustained hypercholesterolemia. However, no effect on the rate-limiting enzyme in cholesterol synthesis, 3-hydroxy-3- methylglutaryl CoA reductase, could be detected. Further, plasma lathosterol/cholesterol ratio, a measure of cholesterol synthesis, was not altered. Also, plasma levels of mevalonate, both a substrate for cholesterogenesis beyond the rate-limiting step and a marker for cholesterol synthesis, did not differ between control rats and those with established hypercholesterolemia. There was no detectable change in the expression of low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor between the two experimental groups. We conclude that the early increase in cholesterol synthesis reported after the induction of nephrosis is not necessary for the maintenance of hypercholesterolemia. Established hypercholesterolemia of the nephrotic syndrome seems to represent a steady state in which neither enhanced hepatic cholesterol synthesis nor retarded LDL cholesterol clearance is of major importance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Food Science