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Metabolism. 2011 Aug;60(8):1165-77. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2010.12.012. Epub 2011 Mar 3.

Endogenous and diet-induced hypercholesterolemia in nonhuman primates: effects of age, adiposity, and diabetes on lipoprotein profiles.

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  • 1Obesity, Diabetes and Aging Research Center and Department of Internal Medicine, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.


Nonhuman primates (NHPs) share with humans many features of lipid metabolism and often develop all features of the metabolic syndrome, including hypertriglyceridemia and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and have been used in many studies of potential therapeutics during the preclinical phase. Here we identify for the first time in middle-aged and older rhesus the natural occurrence of hypercholesterolemia, and this hypercholesterolemia develops despite maintenance on a low-cholesterol diet. The aims of this study were to (a) define normal and hypercholesterolemia in rhesus monkeys, (b) determine the factors associated with the development of hypercholesterolemia, (c) compare the lipoprotein profiles in adult rhesus monkeys fed a low-fat/low-cholesterol diet (LFLC) with the profiles of human subjects, and (d) determine the effect of a 16-week high-fat/high-cholesterol (HFHC) diet feeding on total cholesterol and lipoprotein profiles in middle-aged and older monkeys. In our colony, maintained on a constant diet with negligible cholesterol, the mean total cholesterol level in healthy nondiabetic monkeys was 3.7 ± 0.02 mmol/L, with hypercholesterolemia identified as the 95th percentile of the normal cholesterol distribution (≥5.2 mmol/L). Severe hypercholesterolemia developed in the HFHC-fed group; however, despite the high-fat diet composition, unexpectedly, no weight gain occurred in these NHPs. The diet-induced hypercholesterolemia differed significantly in lipoprotein pattern from that of the spontaneous hypercholesterolemia. In summary, despite ingesting only a LFLC, NHPs frequently develop hypercholesterolemia, reflecting lipoprotein patterns similar to human subjects; and this lipid profile of spontaneous hypercholesterolemia differs significantly from the hypercholesterolemia induced by an HFHC diet.

Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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