Cholesterol Metabolism in the Ehrlich Ascites Tumor

Douglas E. Brenneman, Richard McGee, Arthur A. Spector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Analyses of the Ehrlich ascites tumor during Days 11 to 14 of growth in the mouse peritoneal cavity revealed that the cells accumulate cholesterol at a rate of 5.7 nmoles/108 cells per hr. Incubations with either 3H2O or uniformly labeled glucose-14C in vitro indicated that de novo cholesterol synthesis can account for only about 3% of the cholesterol accumulation in the Ehrlich cells. Since the peritoneal fluid in which the tumor cells grow is rich in very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), we wished to determine whether the cholesterol contained in these VLDL might be available for utilization by the cells. During incubation in vitro at 37°, the Ehrlich cells took up large quantities of cholesterol-4-14 C from VLDL. Radioactive cholesterol previously incorporated into the cells was released during incubation with VLDL, indicating that cholesterol exchange between VLDL and the cells occurs in this system. None of the cholesterol taken up by the cells during 2 hr of incubation underwent esterification, but free fatty acids taken up under identical conditions were incorporated by the cells into cholesteryl esters. The cells also were able to take up radioactive cholesteryl oleate incorporated in the VLDL. Some of the cholesteryl oleate was taken up intact, perhaps due to binding of intact VLDL, and the remainder was hydrolyzed. A portion of the cholesterol and fatty acid produced by the hydrolysis of VLDL cholesteryl esters was retained by the cells. These findings demonstrate that the cholesterol contained in the ascites plasma VLDL potentially is available for utilization by the Ehrlich cells. Moreover, they suggest that VLDL may function as vehicles for transport of cholesterol from the tissues of the mouse to the growing tumor cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2605-2611
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 1974

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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