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Metabolism. 2002 Feb;51(2):211-7.

Ethnic differences in postprandial triglyceride response to a fatty meal and lipoprotein lipase in lean and obese African American and Caucasian women.

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Department of Biochemistry, East Carolina University School of Medicine, Greenville, NC 27858, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine if there were differences in the expression of lipoprotein lipase (LPL) in African American (AA) and Caucasian (CA) women. LPL mRNA and protein levels were determined in subcutaneous and omental fat of lean and obese subject from the 2 races (4 groups; 12 to 15 subjects/group). LPL mRNA levels of lean AA were not different from the lean CA women in either fat depot. LPL mRNA levels in the subcutaneous fat of the obese AA were higher than those of CA women (1.3 +/- 0.1 v 0.86 +/- 0.06, P.05), but not different in omental fat. LPL mass in subcutaneous fat of lean AA was higher (0.95 +/- 0.09 v 0.64 +/- 0.06, P.05), but not different in omental fat from the CA women. LPL mass in subcutaneous and omental fat was not different in the 2 obese groups. Differences in the activity of LPL were evaluated by (1) measuring the increments of triglycerides (TG) at 2, 4, 6, and 8 hours after a fat-rich meal and (2) by measuring postheparin plasma lipolytic activity. Plasma TG levels in the lean AA were lower than those of the lean CA women at basal and at 2, 4, 6, and 8 hours postprandially. The increase in TG levels at 2 hours tended to be lower in the AA than the CA women, was significantly lower at 4 hours (24 +/- 5 v 45 +/- 7, P.05), and was not different 8 hours postprandially. No differences were observed in either the absolute or the incremental concentrations of TG in the obese groups. Postheparin plasma LPL activity was higher in the lean AA than the lean CA women (4.8 +/- 0.4 v 3.4 +/- 0.4, P.05), but not different in the obese groups. These results indicate that the lower TG concentrations in the lean AA women may be partly due to enhanced expression, activity, and intravascular availability of LPL. Furthermore, it appears that the racial differences in expression and function of LPL are attenuated with obesity.

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