Intravenous lipid emulsions: removal mechanisms as compared to chylomicrons.

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      We have compared the metabolism of chylomicrons and a labeled emulsion, similar to those used for parenteral nutrition. Both were labeled in their triglyceride moieties and by a core label. It is known that chylomicron triglycerides are cleared by two processes: removal of triglycerides from the particles through lipolysis and removal of whole or partly lipolyzed particles. It has been proposed that emulsion droplets are cleared by the same pathways. After intravenous injection to postprandial rats, triglycerides were cleared less rapidly from the emulsion than from the chylomicrons (half-lives of 6.4 and 4.0 min), whereas the core labels were cleared at the same rate (half-lives around 7.5 min). This suggests that there was less lipolysis of the emulsion droplets which was further supported by the finding that less label appeared in the plasma free fatty acids (FFA). In adipose tissue of fed rats given chylomicrons, the ratio between fatty acid and core label was above 6, showing that fatty acids had been taken up after lipoprotein lipase-mediated hydrolysis. In contrast, for rats given emulsion, that ratio was only 1.2 showing that nearly as much emulsion droplets as emulsion-derived fatty acids were present in the tissue. In the liver the ratio was 0.55 after chylomicrons but 0.93 after emulsion. In further support of more lipolysis, fatty acids were oxidized more rapidly from chylomicrons than from emulsion. These data suggest that a large fraction of the emulsion droplets was removed from plasma with little or no preceding lipolysis. A substantial proportion, more than 50%, of this uptake occurred in extrahepatic tissues.


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