Context: Overexpression of endothelial lipase (EL) has been shown to reduce plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in animal models. However, the extent to which EL contributes to modulate the deteriorated high-density lipoprotein profile observed in obesity in humans is less clear.
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to investigate the association between levels of obesity and visceral adiposity in particular and plasma EL concentrations.
Methods: Postheparin plasma EL concentrations were measured by ELISA and visceral adiposity by computed tomography in a sample of 80 sedentary men in good health. EL mRNA levels in abdominal sc and omental adipose tissues obtained during abdominal hysterectomies were measured in another sample of 14 women.
Results: Plasma EL levels were positively correlated with body mass index (R = 0.46, P < 0.0001), visceral adipose tissue accumulation (R = 0.44, P < 0.0001), and a proatherogenic lipid profile including increased plasma cholesterol and triglycerides. However, EL mRNA levels were similar in sc and omental AT and were 10,000-fold lower than lipoprotein lipase mRNA levels in those tissues.
Conclusions: Increased visceral adiposity is significantly correlated with elevated plasma EL levels, but this association is unlikely to be causal and may reflect other common metabolic alterations.