Apolipoprotein (apo) B48, a protein contained in intestinally derived lipoprotein particles, is synthesized by post-transcriptional editing of apoB100 mRNA. This reaction is mediated by an enzyme complex that includes the catalytic subunit, apobec-1. The liver of most mammals, by contrast, contains only unedited apoB mRNA and secretes apoB100, the major protein component of plasma low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Because rabbits, like humans, fail to edit hepatic apoB100 mRNA, we introduced a recombinant adenovirus encoding apobec-1 into the livers of LDL receptor-defective rabbits to determine the impact on lipoprotein metabolism of hepatic apoB48 secretion. Transgene expression was mainly confined to the liver and was sustained for up to 3 weeks following virus administration, as evidenced by the presence of apobec-1 mRNA and the ability of hepatic S100 extracts to edit a synthetic apoB RNA template in vitro. The transient induction of hepatic apoB mRNA editing accompanied alterations in very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) size, the presence of apoB48 in fractions spanning the VLDL and LDL range, and modest reductions in total plasma cholesterol levels.