The effect of L-propranolol on the receptor mediated uptake of human LDL by fibroblasts was investigated. When L-propranolol was tested between 10−6 and 10−4 M at a 125I LDL concentration ranging from 6.25 to 198 μg/ml, an increase in binding, internalization and degradation of the labelled lipoproteins was demonstrated with a maximal effect respectively of 52%, 680% and 105% observed with L-propranolol at 10−4 M and a lipoprotein concentration of 37.5 μg/ml. The effect occurs rapidly and is seen 2 hrs after the addition of the drug. Lower drug concentrations, although less effective, still produced significant increase in lipoprotein uptake and degradation. Procaine, a local anesthetic, used at 10−4 M has no effect on 125I-LDL binding and internalization. D-propranolol, another local anesthetic and L-propranolol enantiomer, is also without effect. This, excluding a drug induced stabilization of the membrane as the responsible mechanism of action, indicates that stereospecificity is important.
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