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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2002 Mar 1;22(3):483-7.

Lipolytically modified triglyceride-enriched HDLs are rapidly cleared from the circulation.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, University of Toronto, Canada.


The precise biochemical mechanisms underlying the reduction of HDL levels in hypertriglyceridemic states are currently not known. In humans, we showed that triglyceride (TG) enrichment of HDL, as occurs in hypertriglyceridemic states, enhances the clearance of HDL-associated apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) from the circulation. In the New Zealand White rabbit (an animal model naturally deficient in hepatic lipase [HL]), however, TG enrichment of HDL is not sufficient to alter the clearance of either the protein or lipid moieties of HDL. In the present study, therefore, we determined in the New Zealand White rabbit the combined effects of ex vivo TG enrichment and lipolytic transformation of HDL by HL on the subsequent metabolic clearance of HDL apoA-I. Results of the in vivo kinetic studies (n=18 animals) showed that apoA-I associated with TG-enriched rabbit HDL modified ex vivo by catalytically active HL was cleared 22% more rapidly versus TG-enriched HDL incubated with heat-inactivated HL, and 26% more rapidly than fasting (TG-poor) HDL incubated with active HL (P<0.05 for both). Furthermore, a strong correlation was observed between the HDL TG content and apoA-I fractional catabolic rate (0.59, P<0.05) in the combined active HL groups. These data establish that TG enrichment of HDL with subsequent lipolysis by HL enhances HDL apoA-I clearance, but neither TG enrichment of HDL without HL lipolysis nor HL lipolysis in the absence of previous TG enrichment of HDL is sufficient to enhance HDL clearance. These data further support the important interaction between HDL TG enrichment and HL action in the pathogenesis of HDL lowering in hypertriglyceridemic states.

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