Women produce fewer but triglyceride-richer very low-density lipoproteins than men

Faidon Magkos, Bruce W. Patterson, B. Selma Mohammed, Samuel Klein, Bettina Mittendorfer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Context: Very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) are a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The concentrations of VLDL particles and VLDL-triglyceride (TG) in plasma are lower in women than men, but the mechanisms responsible for these differences are unclear. Objective: The objective of the study was to investigate the effects of sex on VLDL-TG and VLDL-apolipoprotein B-100 (apoB-100) metabolism. Experimental Design and Main Outcome Measures: We measured basal VLDL-TG and VLDL-apoB-100 kinetics by using stable isotope labeled tracers. Setting/Participants: Twenty-six healthy, lean subjects (13 men, aged 29 ± 5 yr; 13 women, aged 28 ± 6 yr) were studied in the General Clinical Research Center at Washington University School of Medicine. Results: VLDL-TG and VLDL-apoB-100 concentrations were less in women than men (P < 0.05). The secretion rate of VLDL-TG was approximately 70% greater (P < 0.05), whereas the secretion rate of VLDL-apoB-100 (i.e. VLDL particles) was approximately 20% less (P < 0.05) in women than men. The molar ratio of VLDL-TG and VLDL-apoB-100 secretion rates was therefore more than double (P < 0.05) in women than men. VLDL-TG plasma clearance rate was approximately 70% greater in women than men (P < 0.05), whereas VLDL-apoB-100 plasma clearance rate was not different between sexes. However, VLDL-TG and VLDL-apoB-100 mean residence times in plasma were both shorter (by 45 and 25%, respectively; P < 0.05) in women than men. Conclusions: Increased VLDL-TG plasma clearance is responsible for lower VLDL-TG concentration, whereas decreased VLDL-apoB-100 secretion rate, combined with shorter VLDL-apoB-100 residence time in plasma, is responsible for lower VLDL-apoB-100 concentration in women than men. The greater molar ratio of VLDL-TG and VLDL-apoB-100 secretion rates suggests that the liver in women secretes fewer but TG-richer VLDL particles than the liver in men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1311-1318
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007


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