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Atherosclerosis. 1985 Jul;56(1):61-70.

Particle size distribution of high density lipoproteins as a function of plasma triglyceride concentration in human subjects.


Polyacrylamide gradient gel electrophoresis has been used to examine the particle size distribution of high density lipoproteins (HDL) in human subjects with a wide range of plasma triglyceride concentrations. In studies of groups of both male and female subjects, it was confirmed that the concentration of HDL cholesterol decreases with increasing plasma triglyceride concentration. The HDL fraction from subjects with elevated concentrations of plasma triglyceride was depleted of cholesteryl ester and enriched in triglyceride. It was also confirmed that the proportion of HDL subfraction 2 (HDL2) declines as the plasma triglyceride increases. A new finding was that there were also significant changes in the size of particles in HDL subfraction 3 (HDL3). At low concentrations of plasma triglyceride the predominant subpopulation of HDL3 comprised particles of mean radius 4.3 nm. As the triglyceride concentration increased, however, there was a progressive appearance of HDL3 particles of radius 3.9 nm; in plasma samples with the highest concentrations of triglyceride there was an almost complete disappearance of the 4.3-nm particles, with the population of 3.9-nm particles now predominant.

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