Lipoprotein metabolism in a rat model of diet-induced adiposity

D. J. Mela, R. S. Cohen, P. M. Kris-Etherton

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12 Scopus citations


Obesity in humans is associated with decreased plasma levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), but the mechanisms effecting this relationship have not been established. Four treatment groups were used to develop a range of moderate adiposity: rat pups were raised in litters of 4 or 14 and fed from weaning diets of 6 or 24% fat (wt/wt) for 15-17 wk. Lipoproteins from plasma and from a recirculating in situ liver perfusion system were then separated and analyzed, lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity was assayed in samples of adipose tissue and skeletal muscle and body composition and cholesterol concentrations of various tissues were determined. There was little effect of the diet or litter size treatments on plasma lipids or lipoprotein profiles. Compared to the marked changes in lipid and lipoprotein metabolism that have been observed in severely obese animal models, there was generally little effect of the treatments used to produce this model of moderate diet-induced adiposity. Adiposity was unrelated to plasma total cholesterol and triglycerides. While fatness was positively, although weakly, correlated with plasma levels of several HDL components, including HDL cholesterol, there were no consistent treatment effects on these measures. Plasma HDL levels and adiposity were unrelated to hepatic HDL production or tissue LPL activities. A review of the literature suggests that differences in plasma HDL responses to adiposity in humans and in experimental animals may be due to inherent species differences in lipoprotein metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1655-1662
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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