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The plasma concentration, particle size, and chemical composition of high density lipoproteins (HDLs) are associated with the metabolism of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TGRLs). During alimentary lipemia there is active exchange of lipids and apolipoproteins between HDL and apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins. Whereas HDL has been assigned a protective role against the development of atherosclerosis, alimentary lipemia has been proposed to represent a potentially atherogenic state. We examined plasma HDL concentration, particle size, and composition and their relations to postprandial TGRLs in 32 postinfarction patients and 10 healthy control subjects after intake of a standardized oral fat load of a mixed-meal type. All patients had undergone coronary angiographies in connection with the myocardial infarction and around 5 years thereafter. The plasma HDL cholesterol concentration decreased significantly in response to the oral fat load, particularly in hypertriglyceridemic patients, with a concomitant increase of HDL triglycerides. A limited and reversible yet consistent increase of HDL particle size (1-2%) was seen 6 hours after intake of the oral fat load on nondenaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (GGE) in both patients and control subjects. Virtually no changes in the plasma concentration of HDL GGE subclasses, lipoproteins containing apolipoprotein A-I but no apolipoprotein A-II (LpA-I), or lipoproteins containing both apolipoproteins A-I and A-II (LpA-I:A-II) were induced in the postprandial state despite massive increases of large very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) and large chylomicron remnant levels (determined as apolipoproteins B-100 and B-48 on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis). Strong inverse correlations with fasting plasma HDL cholesterol and the larger HDL GGE subspecies were found for large postprandial VLDL and large chylomicron remnants, whereas the corresponding relations for small VLDL and small chylomicron remnants were weaker. The relations of both large and small VLDL and chylomicron remnants to HDL cholesterol were confined to subjects in the lower fasting plasma HDL cholesterol range (< 1.2 mmol/l). None of the HDL parameters measured, either in the fasting or in the postprandial state (HDL cholesterol, HDL triglycerides, HDL GGE subclasses, LpA-I, and LpA-I:A-II), were related to the development of coronary atherosclerosis, whereas the postprandial plasma levels of small chylomicron remnants, which showed weak negative correlations with HDL, related positively to the progression of coronary atherosclerosis.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)


Journal article


Arterioscler Thromb

Publication Date





11 - 22


Adult, Coronary Angiography, Eating, Enzymes, Humans, Lipids, Lipolysis, Lipoproteins, Lipoproteins, HDL, Male, Middle Aged, Myocardial Infarction, Triglycerides