Impaired adrenal reserve in the Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic rabbit: Implications for LDL-receptor function in steroidogenesis

Jeffrey M. Hoeg, Lynn Loriaux, Richard E. Gregg, William R. Green, H. Bryan Brewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The cholesterol required for steroidogenesis may be provided by de novo biosynthesis or through the delivery of cholesterol by the circulating lipoproteins. By studying adrenocortical function, structure and biosynthetic capacity in an animal model devoid of the classical, high-affinity low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor pathway, the respective roles of de novo cholesterolgenesis and lipoprotein cholesterol delivery were investigated. The Watanabe Heritable Hyperlipemic (WHHL) rabbit lacks the LDL-receptor pathway. The activity of the rate-limiting enzyme in cholesterolgenesis, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase was 4- to 15-fold greater than normal in the WHHL adrenal gland. The basal corticosterone concentrations were normal in the WHHL rabbit; however, the corticosterone concentration increased by less than 50% of normal after an intravenous ACTH injection. Electron-microscopic evaluation of adrenocortical cells from the WHHL rabbits disclosed significantly increased mitochondrial surface area and diminished amounts of cytosolic lipid and lysosomal area. These data indicate that the mammalian adrenal gland utilizes endogenously synthesized cholesterol as well as cholesterol delivered through the LDL-receptor pathway. Moreover, in the absence of the LDL-receptor pathway, endogenously produced cholesterol is sufficient for normal basal glucocorticoid function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-197
Number of pages4
JournalMetabolism
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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