The VLDL receptor, a newly identified lipoprotein receptor, has a domain structure homologous with the LDL receptor but has one additional cysteine rich repeat in the ligand binding domain. To study the regulation of the VLDL receptor in vivo, we administered 17 α-ethinyl estradiol to rabbits and examined its effects on VLDL receptor mRNA levels in the heart, one of the organs with highly expressed VLDL receptors, by RNA blotting. The ventricular level of VLDL receptor mRNA increased dramatically after estradiol administration. We could not detect VLDL receptor mRNA in the liver even after estradiol administration. We have confirmed the enhanced expression of liver LDL receptor mRNA by estradiol, however, only weak expression of the LDL receptor was detected in the ventricle of the rabbit heart. These results suggest that estradiol exerts its effect on the VLDL receptor gene expression in the heart.
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