Effect of fatty acid supplementation on cholesterol and retinol esterification in J774 macrophages

Holly M. McCloskey, Jane M. Glick, A. Catharine Ross, George H. Rothblat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


J774 macrophages exposed to medium containing cholesterol-rich phospholipid dispersions accumulate cholesteryl ester. Supplementing this medium with 100 μg oleate/ml increased cellular cholesteryl ester contents 3-fold. Cell retinyl ester contents increased 8-fold when medium containing retinol dispersed in dimethyl sulfoxide was supplemented with oleate. These increases were not the result of increases in total lipid uptake by the cells but rather of redistribution of cholesterol and retinol into their respective ester pools. Effective oleate concentrations of 15-30 μg/ml increased cellular retinyl and cholesteryl ester contents. The effective oleate concentration was reduced to 5 μg/ml when the fatty acid/albumin molar ratio was increased. The oleate-stimulated increase in cholesterol esterification was blocked by incubating cells with Sandoz 58-035, a specific inhibitor of acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT), indicating that the effect of fatty acid exposure is mediated through changes in ACAT activity. When cholesterol or retinol was added to cells which had been exposed to oleate for 24 h to provide a triacylglycerol store, the cellular contents of cholesteryl or retinyl ester were also significantly increased compared to cells not previously exposed to oleate. The oleate-stimulated increase in the esterification of cholesterol and/or retinol was also observed in P388D1 macrophages, human (HepG2) and rat (Fu5AH) hepatomas, human fibroblasts, rabbit aortic smooth muscle cells and MCF-7 breast carcinoma cells. In addition to oleate, a number of other fatty acids increased retinol esterification in J774 macrophages; however, cellular cholesterol esterification in these cells was increased only by unsaturated fatty acids and was inhibited in the presence of saturated fatty acids. Although the cellular uptake of radiolabeled oleate and palmitate was similar, a significant difference in the distribution of these fatty acids among the lipid classes was observed. These data demonstrate that exogenous fatty acids are one factor that regulate cellular cholesteryl and retinyl ester contents in cultured cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-467
Number of pages12
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)/Lipids and Lipid Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 16 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of fatty acid supplementation on cholesterol and retinol esterification in J774 macrophages'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this