An increase in dietary cholesterol and cholic acid will produce hypercholesterolemia in rats. For ten months, two groups of rats (six in each group) were fed commercial rat pellets (control group) or rat pellets plus cholesterol (1%) and cholic acid (0.25%) (experimental group). A blood sample from each animal was divided into three aliquots for three separate experiments on the erythrocytes: a membrane cholesterol and phospholipid determination, a 3-0-[14C] methylglucose (30MG) transport determination, and a 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (2,3 DPG) determination. The 30MG transport and 2,3 DPG aliquots were each incubated in the same five concentrations of 30MG and glucose respectively.

The experimental group of animals exhibited a 50.3% rise in membrane cholesterol when compared to the control group (p < 0.01), while the membrane phospholipid content of the experimental group declined 36.8% when compared to the control animals (p < 0.05). The C/PL ratio (w/w) increased from 0.44 for the control group to 1.10 for the experimental group (p < 0.01).

The 30MG transport was approximately 30% less in the experimental animals' erythrocytes, for the physiologic incubation concentrations of 60 and 75 mg% (p < 0.25). At the same incubation concentrations, using glucose, the 2,3 DPG concentration dropped approximately 10% in the experimental group as compared to the control animals (p < 0.25). The transport of 30MG and the levels of 2,3 DPG were optimum at the blood glucose value of 75 mg%. There was apparently a high degree of correlation between intracellular 30MG and 2,3 DPG concentrations; r = 0.92 or the control animals and r = 0.77 for the experimental group.

A significant rise in rat erythrocyte membrane cholesterol content, plus a concomitant decrease in membrane phospholipids were associated with impaired 30MG transport, Since glucose and 30MG utilize the same membrane carrier (the band 3 protein in human erythrocytes), the parallel decline in 2,3 DPG concentrations in cholesterol rich erythrocytes may reflect lower intracellular glucose and 1,3 DPG levels.




Graduate School

First Advisor

James W. Blankenship

Second Advisor

U. D. Register

Third Advisor

Marvin A. Peters

Fourth Advisor

Raymond G. Hall, Jr.

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Hypercholesterolemia; Erythrocytes



Page Count

ix; 145

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

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Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives