The production rates of apolipoprotein (apo)B-100 in very low density lipoprotein and in low density lipoprotein and apolipoprotein A-I in high density lipoprotein were determined using a primed-constant infusion of [5,5,5,-2H3]leucine, [4,4,4,-2H3]valine, and [6,6-2H2,1,2-13C2]lysine. The three stable isotope-labeled amino acids were administered simultaneously to determine whether absolute production rates calculated using a stochastic model were independent of the tracer species utilized. Three normolipidemic adult males were studied in the constantly fed state over a 15-h period. The absolute production rates of very low density lipoprotein apoB-100 were 11.4 +/- 5.8 (leucine), 11.2 +/- 6.8 (valine), and 11.1 +/- 5.4 (lysine) mg per kg per day (mean +/- SDM). The absolute production rates for low density lipoprotein apoB-100 were 8.0 +/- 4.7 (leucine), 7.5 +/- 3.8 (valine), and 7.5 +/- 4.2 (lysine) mg per kg per day. The absolute production rates for high density lipoprotein apoA-I were 9.7 +/- 0.2 (leucine), 9.4 +/- 1.7 (valine, and 9.1 +/- 1.3 (lysine) mg per kg per day. There were no statistically significant differences in absolute synthetic rates of the three apolipoproteins when the plateau isotopic enrichment values of very low density lipoprotein apoB-100 were used to define the isotopic enrichment of the intracellular precursor pool. Our data indicate that deuterated leucine, valine, or lysine provided similar results when used for the determination of apoA-I and apoB-100 absolute production rates within plasma lipoproteins as part of a primed-constant infusion protocol.