Influence of obesity on the metabolism of apolipoprotein B in humans

G. Egusa, W. F. Beltz, Scott M Grundy, B. V. Howard

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120 Scopus citations


The influence of obesity on the metabolism of apolipoprotein B (apo B) in very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), intermediate density lipoprotein (IDL), and low density lipoprotein (LDL) was investigated in nine obese and seven nonobese Pima Indian men. Kinetics of VLDL-apo B (VLDL-B), VLDL-triglycerides, IDL-B and LDL-B were studied after injection of autologous 131I-VLDL, [3H]glycerol, and autologous 125I-LDL. Specific activities were measured in apo B isolated from all lipoprotein fractions and in triglyceride isolated from VLDL. Transport rates and fractional catabolic rates for apo B in VLDL, IDL, and LDL and triglyceride in VLDL were determined by multicompartmental analysis. This method also allowed the estimation of rates of interconversions of the lipoproteins. The two groups had similar mean ages and heights, but the obese group had a higher total body weight (131 ± 14 vs. 66 ± 3 kg ± SEM) and fat free mass (81 ± 5 vs. 54 ± 2 kg) than lean controls. Plasma total lipids were similar for the two groups and apo B concentrations in VLDL, IDL, and LDL were similar in obese and lean subjects. In spite of similarity in concentrations, obese subjects compared to lean subjects had higher synthetic rates of VLDL-triglyceride (62.6 ± 15 vs. 26.2 ± 7 g/d, P < 0.01), VLDL-B (2,241 ± 215 vs. 1,113 ± 72 mg/d, P < 0.001), and LDL-B (1,234 ± 87 vs. 802 ± 83 mg/d, P < 0.01). Furthermore, in obese subjects significantly higher amounts of VLDL-B were removed from the circulation without conversion to LDL-B (1,078 ± 159 vs. 460 ± 34 mg/d, P < 0.05), and obese subjects had a higher fractional catabolic rate for LDL than the lean controls (0.48 ± 0.02 vs. 0.41 ± 0.02 d-1, P < 0.05). The rapid catabolism of LDL and increased metabolism of VLDL without conversion to LDL in obese individuals may be mechanisms for maintenance of LDL at normal levels despite the overproduction of its precursor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)596-603
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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