The effect of cell density on low density lipoprotein (LDL) binding by cultured human skin fibroblasts was investigated. Bound LDL was visualized by indirect immunofluorescence. Cellular lipid and cholesterol were monitored by fluorescence in cells stained with phosphine 3R and filipin, respectively. LDL binding and lipid accumulation were compared in cells in stationary and exponentially growing cultures, in sparsely and densely plated cultures, in wounded and non-wounded areas of stationary cultures, and in stationary cultures with and without the addition of lipoprotein-deficient serum. We conclude that LDL binding and cholesterol accumulation induced by LDL are influenced by cell density. It appears that, compared to rapidly growing cells, quiescent (noncycling) human fibroblasts exhibit fewer functional LDL receptors.

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