A 20-year-old woman with abetalipoproteinemia underwent orthotopic liver transplantation for cirrhosis, affording access to her liver and small intestine for study. Before transplantation, her plasma apolipoprotein B concentration was < 1 mg/dL according to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, whereas after transplantation her plasma apolipoprotein B concentration was 76 mg/dL (all apolipoprotein B-100). Apolipoprotein B content was reduced in her intestine and liver compared with normal and cirrhotic controls. Cultured hepatocytes from the patient's explanted liver secreted a 1.006 g/mL ≤ d ≤ 1.063 g/mL lipoprotein rich in apolipoprotein E and a 1.063 g/mL ≤ d ≤ 1.21 g/mL lipoprotein containing apolipoproteins E and A-I with no immunodetectable apolipoprotein B in the culture medium. Normal hepatocytes secreted very low-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein containing apolipoprotein B-100. Abetalipoproteinemic intestinal apolipoprotein B messenger RNA concentration was 4-5-fold higher than control values. However, the patient's liver apolipoprotein B messenger RNA level was one fifth that of control normal and cirrhotic liver. Analysis of the patient's intestinal and hepatic apolipoprotein B messenger RNA for posttranscriptional stop-codon insertion revealed normally edited transcripts. These results suggest that apolipoprotein B is synthesized as the product of a normally edited messenger RNA transcript, but not secreted, in abetalipoproteinemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-528
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1991


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