Combined hyperlipidemia is associated with increased exercise-induced muscle protein release which is improved by triglyceride-lowering intervention.

J.W. Smit*, T.W.A. de Bruin, E.M. Eekhoff, J.F. Glatz, D.W. Erkelens

*Corresponding author for this work

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Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Although myopathy is considered an adverse effect of treatment with 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors and fibrates in combined hyperlipidemia, the present study was performed to investigate whether combined hyperlipidemia itself is associated with skeletal muscle pathology and whether lipid-lowering intervention has beneficial effects. To investigate whether combined hyperlipidemia is associated with skeletal muscle pathology, 10 male patients and 15 normolipidemic controls underwent a 45-minute standardized bicycle ergometer test at a load of 2 W/kg lean body mass (parallel study). One- and 8-hour postexercise increments in the plasma level of the muscle proteins creatine kinase (CK), myoglobin (Mb), and fatty acid-binding protein (FABP) were assessed as parameters for (subclinical) skeletal muscle pathology. The 8-hour postexercise increments in CK and Mb and 1-hour postexercise increment in Mb were significantly higher in patients than in controls, thus indicating increased exercise-induced muscle membrane permeability in combined hyperlipidemia. To investigate the effects of lipid-lowering intervention on skeletal muscle in combined hyperlipidemia, 21 subjects with combined hyperlipidemia were randomized double-blindly to receive 6 weeks of treatment with fluvastatin 40 mg/d, gemfibrozil 600 mg twice daily, or combination therapy. All subjects underwent an ergometer test before and after treatment. Gemfibrozil treatment alone reduced the CK increments 8 hours postexercise by 47% and the FABP increments 1 and 8 hours postexercise by 83% and 101%, respectively (all P < .05). Combined treatment reduced Mb increments 1 hour postexercise by 54% and FABP increments 8 hours postexercise by 44% (all P < .05). A highly significant correlation existed between therapy-induced changes in plasma triglycerides and changes in postexercise increments of FABP and Mb. In conclusion, combined hyperlipidemia is associated with an increased exercise-induced release of muscle proteins, which is ameliorated by triglyceride-lowering intervention. As FABP is an indicator for ischemia-induced skeletal muscle pathology, a possible explanation is the impaired muscle blood flow during hypertriglyceridemia, which may be reversed by triglyceride-lowering intervention. The mechanism and clinical relevance of these findings remain to be investigated.

Publication Types:
Clinical Trial
Randomized Controlled Trial
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1518-1523
Number of pages6
JournalMetabolism-Clinical and Experimental
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999


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