High-carbohydrate diets affect the size and composition of plasma lipoproteins in hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus). Academic Article uri icon


  • High-carbohydrate diets reduce plasma low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol but also provoke the appearance of an atherogenic lipoprotein profile (ALP). Characterized by high plasma triglyceride, small dense LDL, and reduced high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, an ALP is associated with insulin resistance. Despite extensive use of the fructose-fed hamster as a model of insulin resistance, little is known about changes that occur in the physical properties of circulating lipoproteins. Therefore, we investigated the metabolic and physical properties of lipoproteins in hamsters fed high-carbohydrate diets of varying complexity (60% carbohydrate as chow, cornstarch, or fructose) for 2 wk. Hamsters fed the high-fructose diet showed significantly increased very- low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)-triglyceride (92.3%), free cholesterol (68.6%), and phospholipid (95%), whereas apolipoprotein B levels remained unchanged. Median diameter of circulating VLDL was larger in fructose-fed hamsters (63 nm) than in cornstarch-fed hamsters. Fructose feeding induced a 42.5% increase LDL-triglyceride concurrent with a 20% reduction in LDL-cholesteryl ester. Compositional changes were associated with reduced LDL diameter. In contrast, fructose feeding caused elevations in all HDL fractions. The physical properties of apolipoprotein-B-containing lipoprotein fractions are similar between fructose-fed hamsters and humans with ALP. However, metabolism of high-density lipoprotein appears to differ in the 2 species.

published proceedings

  • Comp Med

author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, L., Yu, J., & Walzem, R. L.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Wang, Limin||Yu, Jun||Walzem, Rosemary L

publication date

  • April 2008