Rudel, Lawrence L. Lipid Sciences Section, Department of Pathology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Edwards, Peter A. Department of Biological Chemistry, University of California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California.
Last reviewed:July 2019
Show previous versions
- Free and esterified forms
- Intestinal cholesterol absorption
- Biosynthesis and feedback regulation
- Plasma lipoproteins and atherosclerosis
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A cyclic hydrocarbon alcohol commonly classified as a lipid because it is insoluble in water, but soluble in a number of organic solvents. Cholesterol (C27H46O) [Fig. 1] is the major sterol (steroid alcohol) produced by vertebrate cells and the most common sterol of eukaryotes, but it is absent from most prokaryotes. Insects and most invertebrates cannot synthesize cholesterol; therefore, they rely on dietary cholesterol for use in their membranes and as a precursor of ecdysone, which is a molting hormone required during growth and development. In vertebrates, the highest concentration of cholesterol occurs in the myelin sheath that surrounds nerves and in the plasma membrane that surrounds all cells. In addition to nerve tissue, cholesterol is particularly abundant in the liver, skin, and intestine. See also: Cell membrane; Ecdysone; Eukaryota; Intestine; Lipid; Liver; Nerve; Skin; Steroid
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 45 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information