A normotriglyceridemic, low HDL-cholesterol phenotype is characterised by elevated oxidative stress and HDL particles with attenuated antioxidative activity.

PMID 16159600


Low levels of high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) are highly prevalent in subjects presenting premature atherosclerosis. It is indeterminate as to whether high cardiovascular risk in low HDL-C subjects occurs concomitantly with elevated oxidative stress and/or with biologically dysfunctional HDL particles. Systemic oxidative stress (as plasma 8-isoprostanes) was 2.3-fold elevated (p<0.05) in normocholesterolemic, normotriglyceridemic, normoglycemic low HDL-C subjects (plasma HDL-C, <40 mg/dL; n=8) as compared to normolipidemic controls (n=15). HDL subfractions (HDL2b, 2a, 3a, 3b and 3c) isolated by density gradient ultracentrifugation from low HDL-C subjects displayed significantly lower (-21 to -43%, p<0.05) specific antioxidative activity (sAA; capacity to protect LDL from oxidation on a unit particle mass or on a particle number basis) as compared to controls. Altered chemical composition (core triglyceride enrichment, cholesteryl ester depletion) paralleled antioxidative dysfunction of HDL subfractions. Plasma 8-isoprostane levels negatively correlated with sAA of HDL subfractions and positively correlated with the total cholesterol/HDL-C ratio, which was significantly elevated in the low HDL-C phenotype. Low HDL-C subjects display elevated oxidative stress and possess HDL particle subspecies with attenuated intrinsic antioxidative activity which is intimately related to their altered chemical composition.

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