On the anti-atherogenic effect of the antioxidant BHT in cholesterol-fed rabbits: Inverse relation between serum triglycerides and atheromatous lesions

Anna Freyschuss, Ayman Al-Schurbaji, Ingemar Björkhem, Amir Babiker, Ulf Diczfalusy, Lars Berglund, Peter Henriksson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


We have shown that inclusion of the antioxidant butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) in the diet protects against development of atherosclerotic lesions in cholesterol-fed rabbits. In parallel, BHT treatment results in increased plasma triglyceride levels. The present study explores the relationship between the triglyceride-inducing and protective effects of BHT in two different studies. The combined material contains 22 rabbits fed cholesterol and 18 rabbits fed cholesterol in combination with 1% BHT. In the BHT group there was an inverse relationship between triglyceride exposure/cholesterol exposure and extent of lesions with r=0.74 (P=0.0005). Our results show that increased triglyceride exposure parallels the anti-atherogenic effect of BHT. There was no significant correlation between atheromatosis and serum BHT levels. β-Very low density lipoprotein (β-VLDL) from cholesterol and BHT animals was triglyceride-enriched and smaller compared to β-VLDL from cholesterol-fed animals, but there was no significant association between the anti-atherogenic effect of BHT and particle size or apolipoprotein pattern of LDL or β-VLDL. LDL isolated from rabbits treated with cholesterol and BHT was less sensitive to oxidative modification than LDL isolated from rabbits treated with cholesterol only. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that the degree of triglyceride exposure may be an important modulator of the anti-atherogenic effect of an antioxidant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Dec 30 2001
Externally publishedYes



  • β-Very low density lipoprotein
  • Experimental atherosclerosis
  • Fatty acid
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Hypertriglyceridemia
  • Oxidative modification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biophysics

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