The class B, type I scavenger receptor, SR-BI, binds high density lipoprotein (HDL) and mediates the selective uptake of HDL cholesteryl ester (CE) by cultured transfected cells. The high levels of SR-BI expression in steroidogenic cells
in vivoand its regulation by tropic hormones provides support for the hypothesis that SR-BI is a physiologically relevant HDL receptor that supplies substrate cholesterol for steroid hormone synthesis. This hypothesis was tested by determining the ability of antibody directed against murine (m) SR-BI to inhibit the selective uptake of HDL CE in Y1-BS1 adrenocortical cells. Anti-mSR-BI IgG inhibited HDL CE-selective uptake by 70% and cell association of HDL particles by 50% in a dose-dependent manner. The secretion of [ 3 H]steroids derived from HDL containing [ 3 H]CE was inhibited by 78% by anti-mSR-BI IgG. These results establish mSR-BI as the major route for the selective uptake of HDL CE and the delivery of HDL cholesterol to the steroidogenic pathway in cultured mouse adrenal cells.