Rats were injected with colchicine and the secretion of triglycerides into the serum was studied for 90 min after injection of [14C]palmitic acid and Triton WR 1339. The release of labeled and chemically determined triglyceride was reduced to about 20–30% of control values. The effect of colchicine on serum triglyceride levels was not dependent on the presence of Triton and was similar in males and females and in fed and fasted rats. The effect was dose dependent and was reversible 6–7 h after injection of 0.05 mg/100 g body weight. Colchicine inhibited also the release of labeled proteins into the serum but did not affect the amount of [3H]leucine incorporated into liver proteins. Within 4 h of colchicine treatment there was an 80% fall in serum very low density lipoproteins (VLDL), a 30% fall in serum high density lipoproteins (HDL), and no change in the d > 1.21 protein level, but reduction in the appearance of labeled proteins was encountered in all serum fractions. Colchicine had no effect on the rate of bile flow and on the secretion of phospholipids and cholesterol into the bile. In the hepatocyte there was accumulation of Golgi-derived secretory vesicles, containing nascent VLDL particles; these vesicles were seen also in the vicinity of the sinusoidal cell surface, but the space of Disse contained few or no VLDL particles. There was an apparent reduction in microtubules and some increase in microfilaments. It is suggested that microtubules affect the secretion of lipoproteins and proteins into the serum by maintaining the organization of the plasma membrane required for its fusion with secretory vesicles. The lack of effect of colchicine on biliary lipid secretion indicates that the latter is not dependent on vesicular transport.

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