Evidence for an independent and cumulative effect of postprandial hypertriglyceridemia and hyperglycemia on endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress generation: Effects of short- and long-term simvastatin treatment

Antonio Ceriello, Claudio Taboga, Laura Tonutti, Lisa Quagliaro, Ludovica Piconi, Bruno Bais, Roberto Da Ros, Enrico Motz

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Background - Postprandial hypertriglyceridemia and hyperglycemia are considered risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Evidence suggests that postprandial hypertriglyceridemia and hyperglycemia induce endothelial dysfunction through oxidative stress; however, the distinct role of these two factors is a matter of debate. Methods and Results - Thirty type 2 diabetic patients and 20 normal subjects ate 3 different meals: a high-fat meal; 75 g glucose alone; and high-fat meal plus glucose. Glycemia, triglyceridemia, nitrotyrosine, and endothelial function were assayed during the tests. Subsequently, diabetics took 40 mg/d simvastatin or placebo for 12 weeks. The 3 tests were performed again at baseline, between 3 to 6 days after the start, and at the end of each study. High-fat load and glucose alone produced a decrease of endothelial function and an increase of nitrotyrosine in normal and diabetic subjects. These effects were more pronounced when high fat and glucose were combined. Short-term simvastatin treatment had no effect on lipid parameters but reduced the effect on endothelial function and nitrotyrosine observed during each different test. Long-term simvastatin treatment was accompanied by a lower increase in postprandial triglycerides, which was followed by smaller variations of endothelial function and nitrotyrosine during the tests. Conclusions - This study shows an independent and cumulative effect of postprandial hypertriglyceridemia and hyperglycemia on endothelial function, suggesting oxidative stress as common mediator of such effect. Simvastatin shows a beneficial effect on oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction, which may be ascribed to a direct effect as well as the lipid-lowering action of the drug.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1211-1218
Number of pages8
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Sep 3 2002



  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Endothelium
  • Lipids
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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