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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2011 Mar;300(3):H784-91. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.01036.2010. Epub 2010 Dec 17.

Endothelial inflammation correlates with subject triglycerides and waist size after a high-fat meal.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA.


A rise in postprandial serum triglycerides (PP-sTG) can potentiate inflammatory responses in vascular endothelial cells (ECs) and thus serves as an independent risk factor for predicting increased cardiovascular morbidity. We examined postprandial triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (PP-TGRLs) in subjects ranging from normal to hypertriglyceridemic for their capacity to alter EC acute inflammatory responses. Cultured human aortic ECs (HAECs) were conditioned with PP-TGRLs isolated from human serum at the peak after a moderately high-fat meal. VLDL particle size increased postprandially and varied directly with the subject's PP-sTG level and waist circumference. PP-TGRL particles bound to HAECs and were internalized via LDL receptor-mediated endocytosis. PP-TGRL alone did not induce an inflammatory response over the range of individuals studied. However, combined with low-dose TNF-α stimulation (0.3 ng/ml), it elicited a net 10-15% increase above cytokine alone in the membrane expression of VCAM-1, ICAM-1, and E-selectin, which was not observed with fasting TGRLs. In contrast to upregulation of ICAM-1 and E-selectin, VCAM-1 transcription and expression varied in direct proportion with individual PP-sTG and waist circumference. The extent of monocyte arrest on inflamed HAECs under shear stress also correlated closely with VCAM-1 expression induced by conditioning with PP-TGRL and TNF-α stimulation. This ex vivo approach provides a quantitative means to assess an individual's inflammatory potential, revealing a greater propensity for endothelial inflammation in hypertriglyceridemic individuals with abdominal obesity.

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