Relationships between dietary cholesterol, cholesterol absorption, cholesterol synthesis, and plasma cholesterol in rhesus monkeys
Bhattacharyya, A.K.; Eggen, D.A.
Atherosclerosis 67(1): 33-39
The relationships between the cholesterol content of the diet, plasma cholesterol concentration, cholesterol absorption, and cholesterol synthesis (measured indirectly by desmosterol suppression technique) are explored in groups of high- and low-responding rhesus monkeys fed diets containing 0.02, 0.15 and 0.75 mg cholesterol/kcal. The cholesterol content of the diet (expressed as mg/kcal) is positively correlated with plasma cholesterol concentration and is negatively correlated with percent cholesterol absorption in both groups. Also the cholesterol content of the diet is negatively correlated (r = -0.66) with cholesterol synthesis only in low-responders but not in high-responders. Similarly, the correlation between percent cholesterol absorption and cholesterol synthesis is significant in the low-responders (r = 0.82, P less than 0.01) but not in the high-responders (r = 0.12, P greater than 0.1). Further, a negative correlation (r = -0.61) is observed between cholesterol synthesis and plasma cholesterol concentration in the low-responders but in the high-responders, there is no relationship between the parameters. From these correlations we conclude that the higher cholesterol absorption in the high-responders than in the low-responders is one important mechanism responsible for the development of severe hypercholesterolemia in the high-responding monkeys fed cholesterol. The results also suggest that there might be a lower sensitivity in the feedback inhibition mechanism of cholesterol biosynthesis in the high-responding than in the low-responding rhesus monkeys.