Regional cholesterol synthesis in the intestinal mucosa of the genetically hypercholesterolaemic RICO rat: kinetic study following whole-body gamma-irradiation
Lutton C, Milliat F, Feurgard C, Mathe D, Aigueperse J, Meslin JC
Int J Radiat Biol 1999 Feb;75(2):175-81
PURPOSE: To investigate regional cholesterol synthesis and kinetics following whole-body gamma-irradiation in the genetically hypercholesterolaemic RICO rat. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Male RICO rats were fed a semi-purified diet for 1 month. At 10 weeks old they were exposed to gamma-irradiation (4 Gy, 1.5 Gy/min) together with controls. At intervals from 1-8 days after irradiation an intraperitoneal administration of [1-14C] acetate was given in order to estimate cholesterogenesis in mucosal cells located at different sites in the small intestine. The protein and DNA contents of the different enterocytes isolated along the crypt/villus axis in four equal parts of the intestine were also determined. RESULTS: A marked decrease of the mean quantities of cholesterol, DNA or protein in mucosa was seen 1 and 2 days after irradiation, showing the loss of 30-40% of the intestinal epithelium. An overshoot of the cell amount was observed after 4 days with a return to basal values by 8 days after irradiation. The kinetic and topological evolution of cholesterol radioactivity, which reflects in situ cholesterol synthesis, showed a typical gradient in controls and at 8 days after irradiation. Cholesterogenesis decreased from the first to the third quarter of the small intestine (duodenum to proximal ileum), and then increased in the fourth quarter (distal ileum). In all segments of the small intestine, cholesterogenesis decreased from crypt cells to villus tip. At days 1 and 2 the gradient of cholesterogenesis on the villus was abolished. A slow recovery was seen from day 4 with a strong overshoot of cholesterol synthesis in crypt cells in every part of the small intestine. CONCLUSIONS: The RICO rat is a useful model for studying the effect of irradiation on regional cholesterogenesis in intestinal mucosa. Cholesterol synthesis in crypt cells was lowered 1 and 2 days after irradiation, over-expressed after 4 days and subsequently returned to its normal level.