Plasma lipoproteins in familial combined hyperlipidemia and monogenic familial hypertriglyceridemia

J. D. Brunzell, J. J. Albers, A. Chait, Scott M Grundy, E. Groszek, G. B. McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

254 Scopus citations


Plasma lipoprotein concentration, composition, and size were evaluated in two common familial forms of hypertriglyceridemia and compared with those in normal subjects. The very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) were triglyceride-enriched in familial hypertriglyceridemia (triglyceride/apoprotein B ratio: 25.7±8.9) as compared to normal (9.6±12.2, P<0.001) or familial combined hyperlipidemia (9.7±3.3, P<0.001). The diameter of VLDL was larger in familial hypertriglyceridemia (3.27±0.28 pm) than in familial combined hyperlipidemia (2.87±0.16 pm, P<0.02). Although in familial hypertriglyceridemia VLDL tended to be larger, and in familial combined hyperlipidemia VLDL tended to be smaller than normal (3.08±0.48 pm), neither of these differences were significant. While VLDL was normally distributed in the control population, the size was skewed to larger particles in familial hypertriglyceridemia with fewer small particles (P<0.05) and skewed to smaller particles in familial combined hyperlipidemia with fewer large particles (P<0.05). VLDL was reciprocally related to low density lipoproteins (LDL) in familial combined hyperlipidemia (r + -0.80 to -0.87) suggesting that the concentrations of these individual lipoprotein groups were somehow interrelated. There was no significant relationship between these two lipoprotein classes in familial hypertriglyceridemia or in normals. In familial combined hyperlipidemia, the apoprotein A-I/A-II ratio was below normal (P<0.01) suggestive of low HDL2 levels. This change in apoprotein composition was independent of VLDL or LDL concentration. In familial hypertriglyceridemia, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol was reduced (33% below mean normal) and HDL triglyceride was increased (by 46%), while the concentration of apoA-I and apoA-II was normal. VLDL triglyceride was inversely related to HDL cholesterol in familial hypertriglyceridemia (r = -0.74, P<0.005), but not in familial combined hyperlipidemia. The large, triglyceride-enriched VLDL observed in familial hypertriglyceridemia is compatible with the reported increase in VLDL triglyceride synthesis seen in this disorder. The increase in VLDL apoprotein B synthesis previously reported in familial combined hyperlipidemia was associated with VLDL of normal composition. The changes in HDL cholesterol in these two disorders might reflect exchange of triglyceride between VLDL and HDL or could be related to transfer of surface components during the catabolism of VLDL. The reciprocal relationship between various components of VLDL and LDL seen in familial combined hyperlipidemia, but not in familial hypertriglyceridemia or in normal subjects, might provide some insight into the pathological abnormalities in these disorders. The differences between these two common familial forms of hypertriglyceridemia provide further support that they are distinct entities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-155
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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