The influence of intestinal microflora and aging on the lipid metabolism in germfree (GF) and conventional (CV) rats, 8 and 40 weeks old, was investigated. Serum cholesterol at the age of 8 and 40 weeks and serum triglyceride (TG) at the age of 40 weeks was higher in GF than in CV rats. Serum cholesterol decreased and serum TG and corticosterone tended to increase in both GF and CV rats with aging. In the rats 40 weeks of age, lipase activity of the pancreas and the duodenal, jejunal, and colorectal contents in GF rats increased, but that of the ileal and cecal contents in GF and CV rats decreased. Intestinal microflora tended to depress the age-related increase of serum TG and lipase activity of the pancreas and the duodenal and jejunal contents Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) activities of the epididymal adipose tissue were higher in CV than in GF rats at both 8 and 40 weeks of age. The LPL activity increased and the HSL activity decreased in both GF and CV rats with aging. The concentration of cholesterol increased and that of bile acids decreased in the cecal contents of 40-week-old GF rats.
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