Postprandial hypertriglyceridemia increases circulating levels of endothelial cell microparticles

Circulation. 2004 Dec 7;110(23):3599-603. doi: 10.1161/01.CIR.0000148820.55611.6B. Epub 2004 Nov 29.


Background: This study evaluated a possible relationship between levels of endothelial microparticles (EMPs), known to be a sensitive indicator of endothelial disturbance, and changes in postprandial lipid levels in healthy volunteers after a low- or high-fat meal.

Methods and results: Eighteen healthy subjects without known cardiovascular risk factors were evaluated. Lipid and EMP levels were measured before and 1 and 3 hours after a single low- or high-fat isocaloric meal. The low-fat meal had no significant postprandial effect on EMPs or lipids compared with fasting levels. In contrast, a single high-fat meal significantly increased EMP levels after 1 and 3 hours, from 389+/-54 (thousands per milliliter) when fasting to 541+/-139 (P=0.0002) and 677+/-159 (P<0.0001), respectively, and correlated with a postprandial elevation in serum triglycerides.

Conclusions: A single high-fat meal led to a significant elevation of plasma EMP levels in healthy, normolipidemic subjects and correlated with a postprandial elevation of serum triglycerides. EMPs may be an indirect marker of endothelial dysfunction or injury induced by postprandial triglyceride-rich lipoproteins.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / blood
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / pathology*
  • Male
  • Particle Size
  • Postprandial Period*
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Dietary Fats
  • Triglycerides