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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Proliferation of peroxisomes in pericentral hepatocytes of rat liver after administration of a new hypocholesterolemic agent (BM 15766). Sex-dependent ultrastructural differences.

The effects of a new piperazine derivative BM 15766, which inhibits the biosynthesis of cholesterol at the 7-dehydrocholesterol-delta 7-reductase step, upon the ultrastructure of rat liver and the serum lipids, have been investigated. Treated animals showed a marked reduction in total sterol content in serum with simultaneous reduction of triglycerides. The catalase activity in liver homogenates was unchanged, carnitine acetyltransferase increased only slightly, and the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase was augmented by a factor of 2. In sections stained with alkaline 3,3'-diaminobenzidine for catalase, distinct proliferation of peroxisomes (PO) in perivenous regions of the hepatic lobules was noted in rats of both sexes. In male animals many PO showed loop-like extensions and invaginations of their limiting membranes into the matrix. Such alterations were seen less frequently in female animals; instead, females exhibited in the same regions of the hepatic lobules, large aggregates of PO, smooth endoplasmic reticulum, and mitochondria with longitudinal cristae. Close contacts of PO and fenestrated segments of smooth endoplasmic reticulum were noted in both sexes. These observations demonstrate the marked adaptive response of rat hepatocyte organelles to severe hypocholesterolemia induced by BM 15766. The alterations of PO may reflect attempts to increase their surface membrane, which plays a crucial role in the exchange of substrates between the cytoplasm and the peroxisomal matrix. Moreover, the close association of PO and smooth endoplasmic reticulum could facilitate the shuttle of lipid intermediates between these two intracellular compartments involved in the biosynthesis of complex lipids.[1]


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