Studies have shown that high-fat diets cause blood vessel damage, however, assessing pathological effects accurately and efficiently is difficult. In this study, we measured particle levels of static endothelium (CD31+ and CD105+) and activated endothelium (CD62E+, CD54+ and CD106+) in plasma. We determined individual responses to two dietary regimens in two groups of baboons. One group (n = 10), was fed a diet high in simple carbohydrates and saturated fats (the HSF diet) and the other (n = 8) received a diet high in simple carbohydrates and unsaturated fats (the HUF diet). Plasma samples were collected at 0, 3, and 7 weeks. The percentages of CD31+ and CD62E+ particles were elevated at 3 weeks in animals fed either diet, but these elevations were statistically significant only in animals fed the HUF diet. Surprisingly, both percentages and counts of CD31+ particles were significantly lower at week 7 compared to week 0 and 3 in the HSF group. The median absolute counts of CD105+ particles were progressively elevated over time in the HSF group with a significant increase from week 0 to 7; the pattern was somewhat different for the HUF group with significant increase from week 3 to 7. The counts of CD54+ particles exhibited wide variation in both groups during the dietary challenge, while the median counts of CD106+ particles were significantly lower at week 3 than at week 0 and week 7. Endothelial particles exhibited time-dependent changes, suggesting they were behaving as quantifiable surrogates for the early detection of vascular damage caused by dietary factors.
Keywords: Circulating endothelial particles; biomarkers; dietary challenge; nonhuman primate model; vascular damage.