Abstract: Although the basic process of intestinal lipid absorption and transport is understood, many critical aspects remain unclear. One question in particular is whether intestinal lipid absorption and transport differ between the sexes. Using a well-established lymph fistula model, we found that intact female mice exhibited lower lymphatic output of triacylglycerol (TAG) than male mice. Further analysis revealed that the female mice segregated into two groups: the high group having similar lymphatic TAG transport to the males, and the low group having significantly less lymphatic output, implying the impact of cyclical variation of ovarian hormonal levels. These led us to examine whether oestradiol (E2) and progesterone (P) affect intestinal absorption and lymphatic transport of dietary lipids. In ovariectomized (OVX) rats, E2 treatment significantly reduced [3H]-TAG lymphatic output through reducing TAG transport; and P treatment decreased [14C]cholesterol (Chol) lymphatic output by inhibiting Chol absorption, compared to vehicle treatment. Gene expression data suggested that E2 enhances vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) signalling to reduce the permeability of lacteals, leading to reduced CM transport through the lymphatic system. Interestingly, E2 treatment also increased lymphatic output of apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I), but not apoB-48 and apoA-IV, in the OVX rats. Collectively, these data suggested that ovarian hormone-induced reductions of intestinal lipid absorption and lymphatic transport, as well as increased lymphatic output of apoA-I, may contribute to a beneficial protection from atherosclerosis in females. (Figure presented.). Key points: Significant differences in intestinal lipid absorption and lymphatic transport were found between female and male animals. Oestrogen treatment significantly reduced [3H]triacylglycerol (TAG) lymphatic output through suppressing TAG transport in ovariectomized (OVX) rats, and this effect is associated with enhanced vegfa gene expression in the intestine. Progesterone treatment significantly decreased the output of [14C]cholesterol in lymph by inhibiting cholesterol absorption in the OVX rats. Oestrogen treatment also increased lymphatic output of apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) in the OVX rats, which may contribute to the reduced risk of atherosclerosis in females.
- lymphatic lipid transport
ASJC Scopus subject areas