Effects of apoprotein E on intracellular metabolism of model triglyceride-rich particles are distinct from effects on cell particle uptake
Apoprotein E (apoE) enhances uptake of triglyceride-rich lipoprotein particles (TGRP). We questioned whether apoE would also modulate intracellular metabolism of TGRP in addition to its effects on particle uptake. We prepared model TGRP with triolein and cholesteryl oleate (1:1, w/w) as the core lipids, emulsified by egg yolk phosphatidylcholine, and containing a non-degradable marker, [3H]cholesteryl hexadecyl ether. Particles were intermediate density lipoprotein-sized as determined by core lipid/phospholipid ratios (2.0-3.0/1) and gel filtration chromatography on Sepharose CL-2B. Emulsions were incubated with J774 macrophages for 5 min to 6 h at core lipid concentrations of 300-1200 micrograms/ml and 0-0.2 microgram recombinant apoE/mg core lipid. Particle uptake was determined by [3H]cholesteryl ether uptake and fluorescence microscopy in the absence and presence of apoE. Similar uptake of particles with and without apoE was achieved by utilizing a 4 times higher particle concentration in the absence of apoE. At equivalent levels of uptake, particles with apoE lead to one-half of the triglyceride mass accumulation and twice the triglyceride utilization as compared to particles without apoE. Further, apoE doubles cell cholesteryl ester hydrolysis and to a lesser extent (approximately 30%) increases cholesteryl ester resynthesis by acyl-CoA cholesterol acyltransferase. Particles, both with and without apoE, reach the lysosomal compartment as determined by colocalization with fluorescein-labeled alpha 2-macroglobulin. These results suggest that, in addition to its role in enhancing TGRP uptake, apoE has additional effects on modulating the cellular metabolism of both triglyceride and cholesteryl ester, after particle internalization.