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A preponderance of small, dense low density lipoprotein (LDL) particles has been linked to increased risk of myocardial infarction, and a dense and protein-rich LDL has proved to be a characteristic of patients with manifest coronary heart disease (CHD). The present study focused on metabolic determinants of the LDL subfraction distribution with the emphasis placed on alimentary lipaemia. The relations of plasma levels and composition of light (1.019 < d < 1.040 kg/l) and dense (1.040 < d < 1.063 kg/l) LDL subfractions to postprandial triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TGRL), postheparin plasma lipase activities and the activity of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) were studied in 32 men with angiographically ascertained premature coronary atherosclerosis (age 48.8 +/- 3.2 years) and in 10 age matched healthy control men. LDL subfractions were separated by equilibrium density gradient ultracentrifugation of fasting plasma drawn before participants were subjected to an oral fat tolerance test of a mixed meal type. The response of TGRL to the oral fat load was determined by measuring plasma triglycerides, and the apolipoprotein (apo) B-48 and apo B-100 content of Sf 60-400 and Sf 20-60 lipoprotein fractions. At a second visit plasma samples were taken for determination of postheparin plasma lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and hepatic lipase (HL) activities and for measurement of CETP activity. Hypertriglyceridaemic patients had a preponderance of dense LDL particles compared with normotriglyceridaemic patients and controls. The magnitude of the response of TGRL to the oral fat load showed a positive association with the dense LDL apo B concentration (r = 0.32-0.52, P < 0.05), whereas the LPL activity correlated positively with the free (r = 0.50, P < 0.001) and esterified cholesterol (r = 0.45, P < 0.01) and apo B (r = 0.42, P < 0.01) content of the light LDL fraction. The HL activity was found to be inversely associated with the plasma level of light LDL triglycerides (r = -0.38, P < 0.05). In contrast, no relations were noted between CETP activity and plasma concentrations of LDL constituents. Multiple stepwise linear regression analysis with the proportion of total LDL apo B contained in the dense LDL subfraction (% dense LDL apo B) used as the dependent variable indicated that the combined effect of LPL activity and postprandial plasma levels of TGRL (areas under the curve for plasma triglycerides or Sf 60-400 apo B-48) accounted for around 50% of the variability in the distribution of LDL particles between light and dense subfractions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Type

Journal article

Journal

Atherosclerosis

Publication Date

04/01/1993

Volume

98

Pages

33 - 49

Keywords

Carrier Proteins, Cholesterol Ester Transfer Proteins, Coronary Artery Disease, Dietary Fats, Glycoproteins, Heparin, Humans, Lipase, Lipoprotein Lipase, Lipoproteins, Lipoproteins, LDL, Liver, Male, Middle Aged, Triglycerides