Ionizing radiation alters hepatic cholesterol metabolism and plasma lipoproteins in Syrian hamster
Feurgard C, Boehler N, Ferezou J, Serougne C, Aigueperse J, Gourmelon P, Lutton C, Mathe D
Int J Radiat Biol 1999 Jun;75(6):757-66
PURPOSE: The investigation of the effects of ionizing radiation on hepatic cholesterol metabolism and the concentration and composition of plasma lipoproteins in the male Syrian hamster. MATERIALS AND METHODS: After sublethal whole-body 60Co gamma-irradiation (8 Gy, 1 Gy/min), plasma lipoproteins were separated by density-gradient ultracentrifugation. Activities of hydroxymethylglutarylCoA (HMGCoA) reductase and of cholesterol 7alpha-hydroxylase were measured in hepatic microsomes and the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor mass was determined in hepatic total membranes. Lipid peroxidation in LDL was assessed in vitro as the formation of conjugated dienes at 234 nm. A group of pair-fed animals served as controls as the food intake was markedly decreased with exposure to radiation. RESULTS: Plasma lipid concentrations decreased 2 days post-irradiation and then markedly increased by day 6 post-irradiation; plasma cholesterol was increased by 77% and triglycerides by +207%. LDL accumulated in plasma while high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels decreased. HDL contained significant amounts of apo SAA, the acute phase apolipoprotein. The activities of hepatic HMGCoA reductase, the rate-limiting enzyme for cholesterol synthesis, increased (+125%, p=0.06); hepatic cholesterol 7alpha-hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme for bile acid synthesis, decreased (-85%); and the hepatic LDL receptor mass also decreased (-44%). The susceptibility of LDL to oxidation was also increased when animals were exposed to radiation. CONCLUSIONS: Lipoprotein modifications that appeared following radiation exposure may result from an induced inflammatory state and may further contribute to vascular damage.