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J Atheroscler Thromb. 2017 Feb 1;24(2):95-109. doi: 10.5551/jat.RV16003. Epub 2016 Nov 8.

Postprandial Hyperlipidemia and Remnant Lipoproteins.

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Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine.


Fasting hypertriglyceridemia is positively associated with the morbidity of coronary heart disease (CHD), and postprandial (non-fasting) hypertriglyceridemia is also correlated with the risk status for CHD, which is related to the increase in chylomicron (CM) remnant lipoproteins produced from the intestine. CM remnant particles, as well as oxidized low density lipoprotein (LDL) or very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) remnants, are highly atherogenic and act by enhancing systemic inflammation, platelet activation, coagulation, thrombus formation, and macrophage foam cell formation. The cholesterol levels of remnant lipoproteins significantly correlate with small, dense LDL; impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and CHD prevalence. We have developed an assay of apolipoprotein (apo)B-48 levels to evaluate the accumulation of CM remnants. Fasting apoB-48 levels correlate with the morbidity of postprandial hypertriglyceridemia, obesity, type III hyperlipoproteinemia, the metabolic syndrome, hypothyroidism, chronic kidney disease, and IGT. Fasting apoB-48 levels also correlate with carotid intima-media thickening and CHD prevalence, and a high apoB-48 level is a significant predictor of CHD risk, independent of the fasting TG level. Diet interventions, such as dietary fibers, polyphenols, medium-chain fatty acids, diacylglycerol, and long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), ameliorate postprandial hypertriglyceridemia, moreover, drugs for dyslipidemia (n-3 PUFA, statins, fibrates or ezetimibe) and diabetes concerning incretins (dipeptidyl-peptidase IV inhibitor or glucagon like peptide-1 analogue) may improve postprandial hypertriglyceridemia. Since the accumulation of CM remnants correlates to impaired lipid and glucose metabolism and atherosclerotic cardiovascular events, further studies are required to investigate the characteristics, physiological activities, and functions of CM remnants for the development of new interventions to reduce atherogenicity.

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Conflict of interest statement

Shizuya Yamashita and Daisaku Masuda received research funds from Ono Pharmaceutical Company Co Ltd.,, Kowa Pharmaceutical Company Ltd., Sanwa Kagaku Kenkyusho Co.Ltd., Astrazeneka K.K., Nippon Boehringer Ingelheim and MSD K.K. Fuji-Rebio Company shared the cost of measuring the apoB-48 levels as part of a joint research study with Shizuya Yamashita and Daisaku Masuda.

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