Relative contribution of triglyceride-rich lipoprotein particle size and number to plasma triglyceride concentration.
These studies were undertaken to determine whether differences in plasma triglyceride concentrations reflected differences in the number or in the size of the triglyceride-rich lipoprotein particles in the circulation. A population of 122 men and women, composed of normotriglyceridemic individuals and individuals with endogenous hypertriglyceridemia (plasma triglyceride concentration from 60 mg/dl to 1400 mg/dl), was studied by one of four independent experimental procedures. Rates of triglyceride production and particle (as reflected by apolipoprotein B) production were simultaneously determined. The data suggest that 71% of any increase in triglyceride production was due to an increase in the production of particles, and only 29% was due to an increase in the amount of triglyceride carried per particle. Direct measurement of the triglyceride-rich lipoprotein particle size by electron microscopy demonstrated that for a fivefold difference in triglyceride borne by the Sf 12-400 lipoproteins (from 100 mg to 500 mg triglyceride/dl plasma), the mean particle size rose by only 29%. Hence, 71% of this difference was due to an increase in particle number. The same results were obtained when triglyceride levels were related to the number of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins in the plasma. The number of particles for these studies was either estimated from apo B concentration or by calculations based on the chemical composition of ultracentrifugal subfractions. These studies have used four different approaches to show that changes of plasma triglyceride concentration primarily reflected a change in the number, not the size, of triglyceride-rich lipoprotein particles. Our studies also demonstrated that 75% to 80% of the triglyceride-rich lipoproteins in both normotriglyceridemic and hypertriglyceridemic subjects were in the Sf 12-60 or intermediate density lipoprotein subfraction.
- Copyright © 1985 by American Heart Association