A reduction of CETP activity, not an increase, is associated with modestly impaired postprandial lipemia and increased HDL-cholesterol in adult asymptomatic women

Lipids Health Dis. 2011 May 24:10:87. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-10-87.


Background: The relationship between CETP and postprandial hyperlipemia is still unclear. We verified the effects of varying activities of plasma CETP on postprandial lipemia and precocious atherosclerosis in asymptomatic adult women.

Methods: Twenty-eight women, selected from a healthy population sample (n = 148) were classified according to three CETP levels, all statistically different: CETP deficiency (CETPd ≤ 4.5%, n = 8), high activity (CETPi ≥ 23.8, n = 6) and controls (CTL, CETP ≥ 4.6% and ≤ 23.7%, n = 14). After a 12 h fast they underwent an oral fat tolerance test (40 g of fat/m² of body surface area) for 8 hours. TG, TG-rich-lipoproteins (TRL), cholesterol and TRL-TG measurements (AUC, AUIC, AR, RR and late peaks) and comparisons were performed on all time points. Lipases and phospholipids transfer protein (PLTP) were determined. Correlation between carotid atherosclerosis (c-IMT) and postprandial parameters was determined. CETP TaqIB and I405V and ApoE-ε3/ε2/ε4 polymorphisms were examined. To elucidate the regulation of increased lipemia in CETPd a multiple linear regression analysis was performed.

Results: In the CETPi and CTL groups, CETP activity was respectively 9 and 5.3 higher compared to the CETPd group. Concentrations of all HDL fractions and ApoA-I were higher in the CETPd group and clearance was delayed, as demonstrated by modified lipemia parameters (AUC, AUIC, RR, AR and late peaks and meal response patterns). LPL or HL deficiencies were not observed. No genetic determinants of CETP deficiency or of postprandial lipemia were found. Correlations with c-IMT in the CETPd group indicated postprandial pro-atherogenic associations. In CETPd the regression multivariate analysis (model A) showed that CETP was largely and negatively predicted by VLDL-C lipemia (R² = 92%) and much less by TG, LDL-C, ApoAI, phospholipids and non-HDL-C. CETP (model B) influenced mainly the increment in ApoB-100 containing lipoproteins (R² = 85% negatively) and phospholipids (R² = 13%), at the 6(th)h point.

Conclusion: The moderate CETP deficiency phenotype included a paradoxically high HDL-C and its sub fractions (as earlier described), positive associations with c-IMT, a postprandial VLDL-C increment predicting negatively CETP activity and CETP activity regulating inversely the increment in ApoB100-containing lipoproteins. We hypothesize that the enrichment of TG content in triglyceride-rich ApoB-containing lipoproteins and in TG rich remnants increases lipoproteins' competition to active lipolysis sites,reducing their catabolism and resulting on postprandial lipemia with atherogenic consequences.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Area Under Curve
  • Atherosclerosis / blood
  • Atherosclerosis / complications
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cholesterol Ester Transfer Proteins / blood
  • Cholesterol Ester Transfer Proteins / genetics
  • Cholesterol Ester Transfer Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood*
  • Fasting / blood
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / blood
  • Hyperlipidemias / complications*
  • Hyperlipidemias / physiopathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Postprandial Period / physiology*
  • Tunica Intima / pathology
  • Tunica Media / pathology


  • CETP protein, human
  • Cholesterol Ester Transfer Proteins
  • Cholesterol, HDL