Adduction of ethylene glycol moieties to the 3-hydroxy position of cholesterol produces polyoxyethylated cholesterol (POEC), a water-soluble compound that suppresses cholesterol synthesis and esterification in cultured human fibroblasts. Feeding Sprague-Dawley rats a diet containing 2% (wt/wt) POEC with 10 ethoxy groups resulted in a 3-fold increase in hepatic 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase activity compared to activity in rats pair-fed a diet of standard rat chow. POEC with an average of 20 ethoxy groups (POEC-20) caused comparable changes in hepatic [2-14C]acetate incorporation into nonsaponifiable lipids under ad libitum feeding conditions, significantly reduced cholesterol absorption (18% vs 57%), and increased fecal excretion of neutral steroids (5.1 vs 2.0 mg/g food intake). POEC-20 also reduced cholesterol absorption in rats fed a diet enriched with 2% cholesterol (11% vs 31%). Histologic studies of intestinal mucosa and hepatic tissues from rats fed POEC showed no pathologic changes. These experiments indicate that POEC reduces cholesterol absorption and causes compensatory increases in hepatic cholesterol synthesis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Cholesterol absorption
- Hepatic cholesterol synthesis
- Polyoxyethylated cholesterol