1. The metabolism of VLD lipoproteins (very-low-density lipoproteins) was studied in intact isolated beating-heart cells and isolated perfused rat heart from starved animals by using [14C]triacylglycerol fatty acid-labelled VLD lipoprotein prepared from rats previously injected with [1-14C]palmitate. 2. 14C-labelled VLD lipoprotein was metabolized by the isolated perfused heart, but was only minimally metabolized by the heart cells unless an exogenous source of lipoprotein lipase was added. 3. Measurements of lipoprotein lipase at pH 7.4 with the natural substrate 14C-labelled VLD lipoprotein indicated that during collagenase perfusion of the heart the enzyme was released into the perfusate, the activity released being proportional to the concentration of collagenase used. Lipoprotein lipase activity in homogenates of hearts that had been perfused with collagenase showed a corresponding loss of activity. 4. At high perfusate concentrations of collagenase, inactivation of the released lipoprotein lipase occurred. 5. Lipoprotein lipase activity was largely undetectable in the homogenate of the isolated heart cells. 6. It is concluded that the lipoprotein lipase responsible for the hydrolysis of VLD lipoprotein triacylglycerol is predominantly located externally to the heart muscle cells and that its release can be facilitated by perfusion of the heart with bacterial collagenase.
- © 1980 London: The Biochemical Society