Alterations in plasma triglycerides and ceramides: Links with cardiac function in humans with type 2 diabetes

Linda R. Peterson, Xuntian Jiang, Ling Chen, Anne C. Goldberg, Marsha S. Farmer, Daniel S. Ory, Jean E. Schaffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Cardiac dysfunction in type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with excessive fatty acid uptake, oxidation, and generation of toxic lipid species by the heart. It is not known whether decreasing lipid delivery to the heart can effect improvement in cardiac function in humans with T2D. Thus, our objective was to test the hypothesis that lowering lipid delivery to the heart would result in evidence of decreased ‘lipotoxicity’ — improved cardiac function, and salutary effects on plasma biomarkers of cardiovascular risk. Thus, we performed a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel design study of the effects of 12 weeks of fenofibrate-induced lipid-lowering on cardiac function, inflammation and oxidation biomarkers, and on the ratio of two plasma ceramides — Cer d18:1 (4E) (1OH, 3OH)/24:0 and Cer d18:1 (4E) (1OH, 3OH)/16:0 — (i.e., ‘C24:0/C16:0’), which is associated with decreased risk of cardiac dysfunction and heart failure. Fenofibrate lowered plasma TG and cholesterol but did not improve heart systolic or diastolic function. Fenofibrate treatment lowered the plasma C24:0/C16:0 ceramide ratio and minimally altered oxidative stress markers but did not alter measures of inflammation. Overall, plasma TG lowering correlated with improvement of cardiac relaxation (diastolic function) as measured by tissue Dopplerderived parameter e´. Moreover, lowering the plasma C24:0/C16:0 ceramide ratio was correlated with worse diastolic function. These findings indicate that fenofibrate treatment per se is not sufficient to effect changes in cardiac function; however, decreases in plasma TG may be linked to improved diastolic function. In contrast, decreases in plasma C24:0/C16:0 are linked with worsening cardiac function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1065-1074
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Ceramides
  • Diabetes
  • Lipid treatments
  • Lipotoxicity
  • Triglycerides


Dive into the research topics of 'Alterations in plasma triglycerides and ceramides: Links with cardiac function in humans with type 2 diabetes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this