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Atherosclerosis. 1996 Nov 15;127(1):35-42.

The association between free fatty acid concentrations and triglyceride-rich lipoproteins in the post-prandial state is altered by a common deletion polymorphism of the apo B signal peptide.

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  • 1University Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, UK. cdtb@mole.bio.cam.ac.uk


To investigate whether there were associations between the free fatty acid (FFA) response during a fat tolerance test and changes in concentrations of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins 57 healthy Caucasian men between 57 and 70 years of age underwent a fat tolerance test lasting 8 h. FFA concentrations initially decreased from 0.75 +/- 0.03 to 0.64 +/- 0.03 mmol/l at 2 h and thereafter increased to 1.2 +/- 0.04 mmol/l at 8 h. Maximum FFA concentration was the only significant determinant of 8 h triglyceride-rich lipoprotein (TGRLP) concentrations (pooled chylomicron and VLDL fractions d < 1.006) (TGRLP-TG r = 0.33, P = 0.012; TGRLP apo B r = 0.37, P = 0.004; TGRLP cholesterol r = 0.38, P = 0.004). The strength of the association between FFA and TGRLP was affected by the apo B signal peptide genotype. Only in individuals who were homozygous for the 27 amino acid (SP27 or I) allele of the apo B signal peptide were there significant associations between maximum FFA concentration quartile and 8 h TGRLP concentration (P value for linear trend = 0.025). In this genotype group there were lower HDL cholesterol concentrations (1.16 mmol/l compared to 1.38 mmol/l in subjects either heterozygous or homozygous for the SP24 [D] allele; P = 0.005) and there was a trend toward increased 8 h TGRLP concentrations. We propose that the association between post-prandial FFA concentrations and post-prandial TGRLP concentrations in individuals who are homozygous for the SP27 allele may be linked to the increased prevalence of ischemic heart disease (IHD) in this genotypic group.

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