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Metabolism. 2013 Mar;62(3):369-75. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2012.08.008. Epub 2012 Sep 25.

Linkage between C-reactive protein and triglyceride-rich lipoprotein metabolism.

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Lipid Metabolism Laboratory, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA.



Inflammation plays an important role in atherosclerosis. Elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) levels are associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease. Our goal was to study CRP metabolism, and to determine its relationship with lipoprotein metabolism using stable isotope methodology.


Eight subjects with combined hyperlipidemia underwent a 15-h primed-constant infusion with deuterated leucine. CRP was purified from the plasma density fraction greater than 1.21g/ml by affinity chromatography. Lipoprotein fractions were separated by sequential ultracentrifugation. Isotope enrichment was determined by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.


The subjects had mean LDL-C levels of 147.5mg/dl and mean CRP levels of 3.4mg/l. The mean CRP production rate (PR) was 0.050±0.012mg/kg/day and the mean CRP fractional catabolic rate (FCR) was 0.343±0.056 pools/day (residence time 2.92days). CRP pool size (PS) was significantly related to production (r=0.93; p<0.001), but not FCR. CRP PS was also related to body mass index (r=0.79; p=0.02). There was a significant association between CRP FCR and TRL apoB-100 FCR (r=0.74, p=0.04), as well as between CRP PS and TRL apoB-48 FCR (r=-0.90, p=0.002), indicating linkage between CRP and TRL metabolism.


The main determinant of plasma CRP levels was CRP production rate. Moreover a significant linkage between CRP metabolism and both TRL apoB-100 and apoB-48 catabolism was noted.

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