Large triglyceride-rich lipoproteins in hypertriglyceridemia are associated with the severity of acute pancreatitis in experimental mice

Yue Zhang, Wenhua He, Cong He, Jianhua Wan, Xiao Lin, Xi Zheng, Lei Li, Xueyang Li, Xiaoyu Yang, Bingjun Yu, Xunde Xian, Yin Zhu, Yuhui Wang, George Liu, Nonghua Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Hypertriglyceridemia severity is linked to acute pancreatitis prognosis, but it remains unknown why a portion of severe hypertriglyceridemia patients do not develop severe acute pancreatitis. To investigate whether hypertriglyceridemia subtypes affect acute pancreatitis progression, we analyzed two genetically modified hypertriglyceridemia mouse models—namely, glycosylphosphatidylinositol high-density lipoprotein binding protein 1 knockout (Gpihbp1−/−) and apolipoprotein C3 transgenic (ApoC3-tg) mice. Acute pancreatitis was induced by 10 intraperitoneal caerulein injections. Biochemical assays and pathological analysis were performed for the severity evaluation of acute pancreatitis. Plasma triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TRLs), including chylomicrons and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), were collected via ultracentrifugation to evaluate their cytotoxic effects on primary pancreatic acinar cells (PACs). We found that the particle sizes of Gpihbp1−/− TRLs were larger than ApoC3-tg TRLs. Severe pancreatic injury with large areas of pancreatic necrosis in the entire lobule was induced in Gpihbp1−/− mice when plasma triglyceride levels were greater than 2000 mg/dL. However, ApoC3-tg mice with the same triglyceride levels did not develop large areas of pancreatic necrosis, even upon the administration of poloxamer 407 to further increase triglyceride levels. Meanwhile, in the acute pancreatitis model, free fatty acids (FFAs) in the pancreas of Gpihbp1−/− mice were greater than in ApoC3-tg mice. TRLs from Gpihbp1−/− mice released more FFAs and were more toxic to PACs than those from ApoC3-tg mice. Chylomicrons from patients showed the same effects on PACs as TRLs from Gpihbp1−/− mice. Gpihbp1−/− mice with triglyceride levels below 2000 mg/dL had milder pancreatic injury and less incidence of pancreatic necrosis than those with triglyceride levels above 2000 mg/dL, similar to Gpihbp1−/−mice with triglyceride levels above 2000 mg/dL but with fenofibrate administration. These findings demonstrated that hypertriglyceridemia subtypes with large TRL particles could affect acute pancreatitis progression and that chylomicrons showed more cytotoxicity than VLDL by releasing more FFAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number728
JournalCell Death and Disease
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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