Change in very low‐, low‐, and high‐density lipoproteins during lipid lowering (bezafibrate) therapy: studies in type IIA and type IIb hyperlipoproteinaemia


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Abstract. The effects of lipid lowering therapy (bezafibrate) on plasma lipoproteins was investigated in twelve patients with familial hypercholesterolaemia (type IIA) and eight with familial combined hyperlipidaemia (type IIB). Bezafibrate caused a decrease of plasma cholesterol, plasma triglycerides, plasma apolipoprotein B, VLDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol and an increase of HDL cholesterol. Post‐heparin plasma lipoprotein and hepatic lipase activities increased in both groups (significant only in type IIB). Lipoprotein composition showed the following changes: Increased protein and phospholipids and decreased triglycerides and cholesteryl esters in VLDL. Decreased protein and triglycerides and increased free and esterified cholesterol in LDL. Decreased triglycerides and increased phospholipids in HDL. Cholesteryl ester to protein ratios decreased in VLDL and increased in LDL. The hydrated density of LDL (both groups) and of HDL3 (type IIB) decreased following bezafibrate therapy. These changes were in general similar to those observed in hypertriglyceridaemic patients and could be ascribed, at least in part, to the increase of plasma lipase activities and the decrease of lipid transfer reactions. Comparing the present data with that previously reported, it was found that bezafibrate caused decreased LDL cholesterol in types IIA and IIB but increased levels in type IV. This change was correlated with the initial plasma triglycerides (r= 0·74, P < 0·0001) and initial plasma LDL cholesterol (r= 0·66, P < 0·001). It is concluded that varied response of LDL to therapy reflects a complex interaction of metabolic events, including changing rates of VLDL conversion to LDL, lipoprotein compositional changes and effects of therapy on LDL degradation rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1986
Externally publishedYes


  • Cholesterol
  • familial combined hyperlipidaemia
  • familial hypercholesterolaemia
  • triglycerides


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