NO activity in familial combined hyperlipidemia: potential role of cholesterol remnants.

E. Stroes, T.W.A. de Bruin, H.W. de Valk, D.W. Erkelens, J.D. Banga, H.J.M. van Rijn, H.A. Koomans, T.J. Rabelink*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Department of Nephrology and Hypertension, University Hospital Utrecht, The Netherlands.

OBJECTIVE: Patients with familial combined hyperlipidemia (FCH) have an increased cardiovascular mortality despite only moderate elevations of LDL-cholesterol. Since endothelial NO release is intimately involved in the anti-atherosclerotic effects of the endothelium, we studied the effect of short-term lipid-lowering therapy on NO-mediated vasodilatation in patients with FCH. In view of only moderate LDL elevations, we evaluated whether alterations in other lipid fractions upon therapy correlated to changes in NO-mediated vasodilatation. METHODS: NO activity was assessed by serotonin-induced, nitric oxide-mediated increase in forearm blood flow (FBF). Measurements were performed 2 weeks off and 4 weeks on lipid-lowering therapy in 12 FCH patients using forearm venous occlusion plethysmography. Control experiments were performed in 12 healthy subjects. RESULTS: Serotonin-induced vasodilatation was impaired in FCH patients (FBF (unit ml/100 ml forearm tissue/min) from 3.0 (0.3) to 4.8 (0.4)) compared to controls (FBF from 2.9 (0.3) to 6.5 (0.6); p < 0.05 vs. FCH). FBF response to serotonin improved significantly upon lipid-lowering therapy (from 3.0 (0.3) to 5.7 (0.5); p < 0.05 treated vs. untreated). The level of improvement in endothelial function was significantly correlated to the absolute reduction of intermediate density lipoproteins upon lipid-lowering therapy (r = -0.64; p < 0.05), whereas it did not correlate to changes in VLDL- or LDL-cholesterol, nor to Lp(a). CONCLUSION: Patients with familial combined hyperlipidemia have impaired NO-mediated vasodilatation, that responds rapidly to lipid lowering medication, and may be related to changes in intermediate density lipoproteins.

Publication Types:
Clinical Trial
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-452
Number of pages8
JournalCardiovascular Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997

Cite this