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J Lipid Res. 2000 Feb;41(2):305-18.

Apolipoprotein B metabolism and the distribution of VLDL and LDL subfractions.

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Institute of Biochemistry, Glasgow Royal Infirmary University NHS Trust, Castle Street, Glasgow G4 OSF, UK.


Apolipoprotein B (apoB) metabolism was investigated in 20 men with plasma triglyceride 0.66-2.40 mmol/l and plasma cholesterol 3.95-6. 95 mmol/l. Kinetics of VLDL(1) (S(f) 60-400), VLDL(2) (S(f) 20-60), IDL (S(f) 12-20), and LDL (S(f) 0;-12) apoB were analyzed using a trideuterated leucine tracer and a multicompartmental model which allowed input into each fraction. VLDL(1) apoB production varied widely (from 5.4 to 26.6 mg/kg/d) as did VLDL(2) apoB production (from 0.18 to 8.4 mg/kg/d) but the two were not correlated. IDL plus LDL apoB direct production accounted for up to half of total apoB production and was inversely related to plasma triglyceride (r = -0.54, P = 0.009). Percent of direct apoB production into the IDL/LDL density range (r = 0.50, P < 0.02) was positively related to the LDL apoB fractional catabolic rate (FCR). Plasma triglyceride in these subjects was determined principally by VLDL(1) and VLDL(2) apoB fractional transfer rates (FTR), i.e., lipolysis. IDL apoB concentration was regulated mainly by the IDL to LDL FTR (r = -0.71, P < 0.0001). LDL apoB concentration correlated with VLDL(2) apoB production (r = 0.48, P = 0.018) and the LDL FCR (r = -0.77, P < 0. 001) but not with VLDL(1), IDL, or LDL apoB production. Subjects with predominantly small, dense LDL (pattern B) had lower VLDL(1) and VLDL(2) apoB FTRs, higher VLDL(2) apoB production, and a lower LDL apoB FCR than those with large LDL (pattern A). Thus, the metabolic conditions that favored appearance of small, dense LDL were diminished lipolysis of VLDL, resulting in a raised plasma triglyceride above the putative threshold of 1.5 mmol/l, and a prolonged residence time for LDL. This latter condition presumably permitted sufficient time for the processes of lipid exchange and lipolysis to generate small LDL particles.

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