Research Article| Volume 33, ISSUE 5, P737-744, May 1992

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Reduction in the concentration and activity of plasma cholesteryl ester transfer protein by alcohol.

Open AccessPublished:May 01, 1992DOI:
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      Plasma cholesteryl esters, synthesized within high density lipoproteins (HDL), may be transferred from HDL particles to other lipoproteins by plasma cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP). Alcohol consumption is associated with increased HDL cholesterol concentration and reduced plasma CETP activity. The alcohol-induced decrease in CETP activity may be due to a low concentration of CETP in plasma or the inhibition of CETP by specific inhibitor proteins or alterations in the composition of plasma lipoproteins. The first two possibilities are studied further in this paper using data on 47 alcohol abusers and 31 control subjects. The activity of CETP was measured as the rate of cholesteryl ester transfer between radio-labeled low density lipoproteins and unlabeled HDL using an in vitro method independent of endogenous plasma lipoproteins. Plasma CETP concentration was determined by a Triton-based radioimmunoassay. The alcohol abusers consuming alcohol (on average 154 g/day) had 28% higher HDL cholesterol (P less than 0.01), 27% lower plasma CETP concentration (P less than 0.001), and 22% lower plasma CETP activity (P less than 0.001) than the controls. Plasma CETP concentration showed a negative correlation with HDL cholesterol among all the subjects (r = -0.317, P less than 0.01) but not among the alcohol abusers alone (r = -0.102, N. S.). During 2 weeks of alcohol withdrawal, plasma CETP concentration and activity of 8 subjects increased, whereas HDL cholesterol decreased by 42% (P less than 0.02).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


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