Increased atherosclerosis in diabetic dyslipidemic swine: Protection by atorvastatin involves decreased VLDL triglycerides but minimal effects on the lipoprotein profile

Joseph L. Dixon, Siming Shen, James P. Vuchetich, Elzbieta Wysocka, Grace Y. Sun, Michael Sturek

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Male Yucatan swine were allocated to four groups (n = 5-6 pigs per group): low fat (3%) fed control, high fat/2% cholesterol (CH) fed (HF), high fat/CH fed with alloxan-induced diabetes (DF) and DF pigs that were treated with atorvastatin (80 mg/day; DF+A). Pigs were fed two meals per day and daily insulin injections were used in diabetic pigs to maintain plasma glucose between 250 and 350 mg/dl. Diabetic dyslipidemic (DF) pigs exhibited greater coronary atherosclerosis and increased collagen deposition in internal mammary artery compared with normoglycemic hyperlipidemic pigs. Although total and LDL CH concentrations did not differ, triglyceride (TG) were increased in DF pigs and FPLC analysis indicated that the LDL/HDL CH ratio was significantly increased in DF compared with HF pigs. The LDL fraction of DF pigs contained larger, lipid enriched particles resembling IDL. Consumption of the high fat/CH diet caused a moderate increase in the percentage of 14:0 fatty acids in plasma lipids and this was compensated by small-moderate declines in several unsaturated fatty acids. There was a significant increase in phospholipid arachidonic acid in DF compared with HF pigs. Atorvastatin protected diabetic pigs from atherosclerosis and decreased total and VLDL TG, but exerted minimal effects on the FPLC lipoprotein and plasma fatty acid profiles and plasma concentrations of total and LDL CH, vitamin A, vitamin E, and lysophosphatidylcholine. Across all groups the plasma CH concentration was positively correlated with hepatic CH concentration. These findings suggest that atorvastatin's protection against coronary artery atherosclerosis in diabetes may involve effects on plasma VLDL TG concentration. Lack of major effects on other lipid parameters, including the LDL/HDL ratio, suggests that atorvastatin may have yet other anti-atherogenic effects, possibly directly in the vessel wall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1618-1629
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002



  • Arachidonic acid
  • Cholesterol
  • Coronary artery
  • Endothelium
  • HDL
  • Hypertriglyceridemia
  • LDL
  • Remnants
  • Statin
  • Triglycerides
  • Vascular smooth muscle
  • Vitamin E
  • Yucatan miniature swine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology

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