Mechanisms of triglyceride-lowering effect of an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor in a hypertriglyceridemic animal model, the Zucker obese rat

Siddika E Karakas, R. C. LeBoeuf, S. Khilnani, L. Tallapaka, D. Dayananda, K. L C Jen

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66 Scopus citations


Inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methyl glutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase have been approved for treatment of hypercholesterolemia in humans. This class of therapeutic agents, in addition to lowering plasma cholesterol, reduces plasma triglyceride levels. We have investigated the mechanism of triglyceride-lowering effect of lovastatin in the hypertriglyceridemic state by using a rodent model of hypertriglyceridemia and obesity, the Zucker obese (fa/fa) rat. Lovastatin treatment (4 mg/kg), as compared to placebo, caused a 338% reduction in plasma triglyceride (146 ± 5 vs. 494 ± 76 mg/dl), a 58% decrease in total cholesterol (99 ± 13 vs. 156 ± 18 mg/dl), and a 67% reduction in high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol (69 ± 8 vs. 115 ± 15 mg/dl). The fall seen in plasma triglyceride was due to a decrease in hepatic secretion of very low density lipoproteins (VLDL), determined after blocking the clearance of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins with Triton WR-1339. Lovastatin treatment did not affect either the activities of hepatic lipogenic enzymes, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, or malic enzyme, or the activities of the lipolytic enzymes of adipose tissue, lipoprotein lipase, or liver, hepatic triglyceride lipase. Supplementation of mevalonolactone in the diet partially reversed the changes in plasma triglyceride (265 ± 37 vs. 146 ± 5 mg/dl), but not in total or HDL-cholesterol. These data demonstrate that, in the hypertriglyceridemic Zucker rat model, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors reduce the rate of secretion of VLDL and this effect can be partially reversed by administration of mevalonolactone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes



  • mevalonolactone
  • Triton WR-1339
  • VLDL secretion
  • Zucker fa/fa rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

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