Ultrafiltration of lipoproteins through a synthetic membrane: Implications for the filtration theory of atherogenesis


To investigate the interaction of lipoproteins with semipermeable membranes, solutions of low density lipoproteins (LDL), very low density lipoproteins (VLDL), mixtures of the two, and diluted, normal, and hyperlipidemic serum were ultrafiltered through a synthetic membrane (500 A nominal pore diameter) using a stirred laboratory ultrafiltration cell. The pressure dependence of ultrafiltrate flux showed that a concentrated layer of lipoproteins was built up at the membrane surface (concentration polarization) and that VLDL was more subject to polarization than LDL. This phenomenon controlled the observed lipoprotein transport behavior. Whereas true membrane rejection (the fraction of the solute on the membrane surface which does not pass through the membrane) was greater than 0.95 for both LDL and VLDL, observed solute rejection varied from nearly 0 to 1.0, depending upon experimental conditions.

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