A simple technique of 'rosette' formation by low-density-lipoprotein-coated erythrocytes around human lymphoblastoid cells, stimulated to generate specific high affinity low-density lipoprotein receptors, is described. Rosette formation is specific for high-affinity surface binding alone and the properties of the low-density lipoprotein receptors defined by it are identical with those found by using 125I-labelled low-density lipoprotein binding at 4°C. Preliminary observations suggest that specific surface binding of low-density lipoprotein is shown by some, but not all, lymphoid cell lines, is independent of certain other surface receptors and is unrelated to whether the cells originate from B or T cells. Loss of low-density lipoprotein surface receptors on lymphoid cell lines (as with other surface receptors) may occur simply from prolonged culture rather than as a result of genetically mediated familial abnormality.
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