The composition of very low density lipoproteins (VLDL: d <1.019) of New Zealand male rabbits receiving cholesterol (2 g/day) and metformin (135 mg/kg/day) is investigated. These rabbits, while showing only a slight reduction of plasma cholesterol levels, as compared to cholesterol-fed (h.c.) animals, show a marked decrease of the aortic cholesterol esters and atheromatous process. VLDL from the cholesterol + metformin group (h.c. + met), as compared to the h.c. animals, are homogenous in size and not separable into VLDL-1 and VLDL-2 subfractions by Sepharose 4B chromatography. These findings are confirmed by electron microscopy, which shows homogeneity of particle size, as well a decreased tendency of h.c. + met VLDL to aggregate. Chemical composition of h.c. + met VLDL is characterized by increased triglycerides and phospholipids, while the percentage of cholesterol esters is not significantly decreased. Phospholipid distribution of h.c. + met VLDL shows a significant decrease of sphingomyelin and increased phosphatidylinositol, the latter both as compared to h.c. and control VLDL. Apoprotein pattern of h.c. + met VLDL in polyacrylamide gels shows a relative increase of peptides with C mobility and a decrease of proteins corresponding to the arg-rich peptides. These findings exemplify a case of altered lipoprotein composition and decreased atheromatosis, in the presence of marked hypercholesteremia.
- Arg-rich protein
- Type III hyperlipoproteinemia
- Very low density lipoproteins
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine