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Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2001 Jul;55(1):69-75.

The atherogenic plasma remnant-like particle cholesterol concentration is increased in the fasting and postprandial state in active acromegalic patients.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU), 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands.



Premature atherosclerosis is a clinical feature in untreated acromegaly. Increased postprandial lipoprotein remnant levels are associated with premature atherosclerosis. In most studies, remnants have been measured indirectly using retinyl esters (RE) as a chylomicron core label. Remnants can also be directly quantified by immunoseparation using monoclonal antibodies to apolipoprotein (apo) AI and apo B100 to remove nonremnant lipoproteins. Cholesterol is quantified in the remaining apo E-rich remnant fraction (RLP-C).


The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of postprandial lipaemia in patients with acromegaly to further define abnormalities leading to increased susceptibility for atherosclerosis.


In a case-control study, the plasma postprandial lipoprotein remnant fraction (RLP-C and RE) were analysed in six patients with active acromegaly [two females, four males; aged 53 +/- 9 years; body mass index (BMI), 29 +/- 4 kg/m2] and in six normolipidaemic control subjects (matched for age, gender, BMI and apo E genotype). They underwent an oral vitamin A fat loading test.


Baseline plasma triglycerides (TG) were not significantly different in patients (1.75 +/- 0.71 mM) and controls (1.15 +/- 0.46 mM). Lipoprotein lipase activity was significantly lower in patients than in controls (108 +/- 21 vs. 141 +/- 19 U/l, respectively; P < 0.05). Baseline plasma apo E levels were higher in patients (60.8 +/- 7.9 mg/l) than in controls (48.3 +/- 5.9 mg/l; P < 0.05). No differences were found in the area under the postprandial TG curve (AUC-TG), the incremental AUC-TG (DeltaAUC-TG) and AUC-RE in the Sf < 1000 remnant fraction. However, fasting plasma RLP-C concentrations, isolated by immunoseparation, were increased in patients with active acromegaly (0.41 +/- 0.13 mM) compared to control subjects (0.20 +/- 0.07 mM; P < 0.05). Incremental postprandial RLP-C response (corrected for fasting values) was also significantly elevated in patients (2.14 +/- 1.19 mM/h/l) compared to controls (0.86 +/- 0.34 mM/h/l; P < 0.05). In both groups, the maximal RLP-C concentration was reached between 2 and 4 h.


In conclusion, the atherogenic postprandial remnants, represented by RLP-C, were significantly elevated at baseline and in the postprandial period, whereas the larger-sized remnants, represented by retinyl esters (Sf < 1000), were not different from controls. The disturbances in the postprandial RLP-C response increased the susceptibility for premature atherosclerosis as observed in patients with acromegaly.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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