Posts Tagged ‘Hypercholesterolemia’

Endothelial Dysfunction (release into the circulation of damaged endothelial cells) as A Risk Marker for Ischemia and MI

Reporter and Curator: Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP

Endothelial Dysfunction: An Early Cardiovascular Risk Marker in Asymptomatic Obese Individuals with Prediabete

AK Gupta, E Ravussin, DL Johannsen, AJ Stull,WT.Cefalu and WD Johnson at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, LA Brit J Med & Med Res 2012; 2(3):413-423 [www.ScienceDomain.org]

provides an exceedingly interesting insight into the relationship between type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity and risk for cardiovascular disease in patients who are asymptomatic prediabetics, defined as a fasting blood glucose between 1000 and 1240 mg/L, or a Hb A1c (may not accurate for African Americans) between 5.6 and 6.5.  They would be expected to show an abnormal 5-hr GTT.

Obesity is associated with the release from adipocytes of adiponectin, which it has been reported is countered by resistin.  We might also have the effect of the insulin secreting beta cell, that releases insulin without a relationship to an anabolic function, through IGF-1 related to feedback to the pituitary GH, which takes a dominant catabolic role. Thus, insulin resistance. This is an oversimplification, and far greater depth is found elsewhere.

This study is consistent with another study on  Metabolism Influences Cancer

Reuben Shaw, Ph.D., a geneticist and researcher at the Salk Institute: Metabolism Influences Cancer

Recent development on Human Stem Cell Therapies for comorbidity and Cardiovascular disease

Human Stem Cell Therapies: UCSD New Discovery addressing the Limiting Factor and Providing the Solution


This study reported a potential early marker of myocardial infarction by the release into the circulation of damaged endothelial cells that are to be measured in patients suspected of severe ischemia in a clinical trial.  The question that I raised in my comment was whether this would have to be a special immunochemical assay of tagged cells, and if that were the case, would it be measured on an automated flow-based hemocytometer, which can differentiate several populations of cells – granulocytes, lymphocytes, red cells, platelets, immature granuloytes, BLASTS.  That would be a very practical extension of the technology for labs worldwide.


Aims: To elucidate if endothelial dysfunction is an early CV risk marker in obese men and women with prediabetes.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.

Place and Duration of Study: Clinical Research Unit, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA. United States.

Background: Overweight and obese status denotes an increasing adipose tissue burden which spills over into ectopic locations, including the visceral compartment, muscle and liver. Associated co-morbidities enhance cardiovascular (CV) risk. Endothelium which is the largest receptor-effector end-organ in our bodies, while responding to numerous physical and chemical stimuli maintains vascular homeostasis. Endothelial dysfunction (ED) is the initial perturbation, which precedes fatty streak known to initiate atherosclerosis: insidious process which often culminates as sudden catastrophic CV adverse event.

Methodology:  Asymptomatic men and women; [n=42] coming in after an overnight fast had demographic, anthropometric, clinical chemistry and

  • resting endothelial function (EF)
  • increased test finger peripheral arterial tone (PAT) relative to control;
    • expressed as relative hyperemia index (RHI)] assessments.

Results: Adults with desirable weight [n=12] and overweight [n=8] state, had normal fasting plasma glucose [Mean(SD)]: FPG [91.1(4.5), 94.8(5.8) mg/dL], insulin [INS, 2.3(4.4), 3.1(4.8) µU/ml], insulin sensitivity by homeostasis model assessment [HOMA-IR, 0.62(1.2), 0.80(1.2)] and desirable resting clinic blood pressure [SBP/DBP, 118(12)/74(5), 118(13)/76(8) mmHg].

Obese adults [n=22] had

  • prediabetes [FPG, 106.5(3.5) g/dL],
  • hyperinsulinemia [INS 18.0(5.2) µU/ml],
  • insulin resistance [HOMA-IR .59(2.3)],
  • prehypertension [PreHTN; SBP/DBP 127(13)/81(7) mmHg] and
  • endothelial dysfunction [ED;
  • reduced RHI 1.7(0.3) vs. 2.4(0.3); all p<0.05].

Age-adjusted RHI correlated with BMI [r=-0.53; p<0.001]; however,

    • BMI-adjusted RHI was not correlated with age [r=-0.01; p=0.89].

Conclusion: Endothelial dysfunction reflective of cardiometabolic changes in obese adults can be an early risk marker for catastrophic CV events.

Keywords: Fasting plasma glucose; healthy adults; reverse cholesterol transport pathway; insulin resistance; body weight; relative hyperemia index.


ADA: American Diabetes association; BMI: body mass index; CVD: cardiovascular disease; CV: cardiovascular; DBP: diastolic blood pressure; ED: endothelial dysfunction; EF: resting endothelial function; FPG: fasting plasma glucose; HOMA-IR: homeostasis model assessment; INS: insulin; JNC 7: Joint National Commission 7; LDL-C/HDL-C: low density lipoprotein cholesterol to high density lipoprotein; NCEP ATP III: National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III; PAT: peripheral arterial tone; PreDM: prediabetes; PreHTN: prehypertension; PBRC: Pennington Biomedical Research Center; RHI: relative hyperemia index; SBP: systolic blood pressure; Total-C/HDL-C: total cholesterol to high density lipoprotein cholestrol; TG/HDL-C: triglycerides to high density lipoprotein cholesterol; WC: waist circumference.


Healthy adults with no chronic medical conditions, on no prescription medications (n=24) and with low cardiovascular risk, in a randomized-order, cross-over clinical trial, with a 2 week washout period, exhibitd improved endothelial function (measured with flow mediated dilatation) with a diet rich in antioxidants (Franzini et al., 2012). Healthy over weight and obese volunteers with normal glucose appear to attenuate flow mediated dilation after high
glycemic index carbohydrate meals (Suessenbacher et al., 2011). In matched (age, work place, physical activity, tobacco use, blood pressure, serum lipids and family history of premature coronary artery disease) male shift and no shift workers, peripheral endothelial function (peripheral arterial tone (PAT) index obtained with the EndoPAT technique) was impaired in shift workers, suggesting elevated cardiovascular risk (Lavi et al., 2009).

Endothelial function thus appears to be an exquisitely sensitive marker for a variety of populations, under various conditions. Although endothelial function has been evaluated in numerous disease conditions and perturbed with a variety of agents, there has, to our knowledge, not been a comparison of resting endothelial function in free living healthy lean, overweight and obese subjects. Using a noninvasive assessment for resting endothelial function (by measuring the peripheral arterial tone, Bonetti et al., 2004), we tested the hypothesis that fasting glucose escalation in otherwise asymptomatic obese men and women is functionally reflected as endothelial dysfunction.

Endothelial Function

Assessment of resting endothelial function was done with the participant in fasting state, after having avoided stimulants (caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, exercise) for 12 hours, at the same fixed clock hour (range 8-10 AM), using the EndoPAT 2000 device manufactured by ITAMAR Medical®. This assessment technique has been previously validated (Bonetti et al., 2004), has been used in numerous (>250) peer reviewed publications (Carty et al., 2012; Kuvin et al., 2003) and has been in routine use in our clinical core. Briefly: subjects coming
in from home, after an overnight fast and having avoided stimulants for 12-hours, were placed in a supine position for 20 minutes in a quiet room before the test. A patented single use finger sleeve was then placed on the index finger of each hand to continuously measure peripheral arterial tone. A blood pressure cuff applied to the upper arm of the non-dominant arm (test arm) was then used to occlude the brachial artery for 5 minutes. This was followed by a rapid release. The dominant arm without any manipulation served as the control. The
built in, validated software integrated the data gathered from the finger sleeves of the control (undisturbed) and the test arms (during the baseline, occlusion and release phases), thus providing the relative hyperemia index (RHI) for the test arm. This flow mediated dilatation induced change in the test arm, relative to the control arm, served as the measure for endothelial function (RHI).

The subjects with desirable and overweight body weight were significantly younger [36.7(19.1) and 27.4(3.9) years, respectively], than those who were obese [53.2(11.6) years]. We performed correlations between the measure for endothelial function (RHI) and confounding factors like BMI, age and gender. Age-adjusted RHI correlated with BMI [r=- 0.53, p<0.001]; however, BMI-adjusted RHI was not associated with age [r=-0.01, p=0.89]. Fig. 1 depicts panels for the regression line for RHI as a function of age, (and BMI, glucose
and HOMA-IR, respectively) superimposed on a scatter plot. No correlation was observed between endothelial function and age (r²=0.07), while endothelial function was highly correlated with body mass index, glucose and insulin sensitivity (r²=0.3).


Asymptomatic obese adults with prediabetes (when compared to asymptomatic desirable weight and overweight adults with normal glucose), exhibit above the upper limits for desirable fasting plasma total cholesterol (>200mg/dL) and triglycerides (>150 mg/dL), but due to a relatively lower HDL-C display higher cardiac risk ratios (Total-C/HDL-C; p=0.05 and TG/HDL-C; p=0.02). A lower HDL-C and the elevated cardiac risk ratios are early clinical indicators for an impaired reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) pathway, a process by which cholesterol from the periphery is transported to the liver (Tall, 1998). The RCT pathway has been shown to be a sensitive indicator of the net flux (deposition vs. removal) of cholesterol homeostasis at the endothelium (Gupta et al., 1993; Tall et al., 2000). It is at the endothelium that the first fatty streaks, which over time deteriorate into atherosclerosis, have been shown to develop (Rosenfeld et al., 2000).

Impaired endothelial dysfunction is the first step in the process of atherosclerosis, even before the development of the fatty streak (Davignon, 2004; Ross 1999). These healthy obese men and women with prediabetes, prehypertension and impaired reverse cholesterol transport pathway were assessed to have impaired resting endothelial function, which is consistent with latent early onset cardiovascular disease.

We have demonstrated a high prevalence of isolated prediabetes or prehypertension and co-existing prediabetes and prehypertension, among the otherwise healthy US adults (Gupta et al., 2011). We have also elucidated that asymptomatic obese adults with overly heightened systemic inflammation, tend to have prediabetes and prehypertension (Gupta et al., 2010a). These individuals by various conventional measures (larger waist circumference, exacerbated systemic inflammation, higher insulin resistance, elevated triglycerides, lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, above average cardiac risk ratios and a significant co-existence of two or three concomitant metabolic risk factors) appear to be on an accelerated pathway towards early adverse cardiovascular events (Gupta et al., 2010a, 2010b). With this study we provide a dynamic, non-invasive, functional correlate: significant resting endothelial dysfunction, as an early biomarker for pre-atherosclerosis in obese adults with prediabetes.

Increased organ ectopic adipose burden especially in the muscle and liver appears to drive clinically recognizable adverse cardio metabolic changes (Hamdy et al., 2006). Increased inflammation (local and systemic) along with enhanced insulin resistance (liver, muscle) manifests as dysglycemia, dyslipidemia, excess reactive oxygen species, hyper-coagulablility and loss of blood pressure control (Gastaldelli et al., 2010).

We demonstrate an early impairment in the reverse cholesterol transport pathway, indicating a net deposition versus removal of cholesterol at the endothelium. In asymptomatic obese men and women with predisease  conditions (prediabetes and prehypertension) when contrasted with ideal bodyweight or overweight adults with normoglycemia and normal blood pressure, resting endothelial dysfunction can be an early warning sign for future catastrophic cardiovascular adverse events.

© 2012 Gupta et al.; This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0),
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

REFERENCES on circulating Endothelial Progenitor Cells as Biomarkers for Cardiovascular Disease and their Angiogenesis Potential.

Asahara T, Murohara T, Sullivan A, et al. Isolation of putative progenitor endothelial cells for angiogenesis. Science 1997;275:964-967.

Takahashi T, Kalka C, Masuda H, et al. Ischemia- and cytokine-induced mobilization of bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells for neovascularization. Nat Med 1999;5:434-438.

Kocher AA, Schuster MD, Szabolcs MJ, et al. Neovascularization of ischemic myocardium by human bone-marrow-derived angioblasts prevents cardiomyocyte apoptosis, reduces remodeling and improves cardiac function. Nat Med 2001;7:430-436.

Rauscher FM, Goldschmidt-Clermont PJ, Davis BH, et al. Aging, progenitor cell exhaustion, and atherosclerosis. Circulation 2003;108:457-463.

Hill JM, Zalos G, Halcox JPJ, et al. Circulating endothelial progenitor cells, vascular function, and cardiovascular risk. N Engl J Med 2003;348:593-600.

Vasa M, Fichtlscherer S, Adler K, et al. Increase in circulating endothelial progenitor cells by statin therapy in patients with stable coronary artery disease. Circulation 2001;103:2885-2890

Laufs U, Werner N, Link A, et al. Physical training increases endothelial progenitor cells, inhibits neointima formation, and enhances angiogenesis. Circulation 2004;109:220-226.

Werner N, Kosiol S, Schiegl T, et al. Circulating endothelial progenitor cells and cardiovascular outcomes. N Engl J Med 2005;353:999-1007.

Aicher A, Heeschen C, Mildner-Rihm C, et al. Essential role of endothelial nitric oxide synthase for mobilization of stem and progenitor cells. Nat Med 2003;9:1370-1376.

Wollert KC, Meyer GP, Lotz J, et al. Intracoronary autologous bone-marrow cell transfer after myocardial infarction: the BOOST randomised controlled clinical trial. Lancet 2004;364:141-148.

Zhang H, Vakil V, Braunstein M, et al. Circulating endothelial progenitor cells in multiple myeloma: implications and significance. Blood 2005;105:3286-3294

Lyden D, Hattori K, Dias S, et al. Impaired recruitment of bone-marrow-derived endothelial and hematopoietic precursor cells blocks tumor angiogenesis and growth. Nat Med 2001;7:1194-1201.

Other related articles that were published in this Open Access Online Scientific Journal include the following:

Lev-Ari, A. 2/28/2013 The Heart: Vasculature Protection – A Concept-based Pharmacological Therapy including THYMOSIN


Lev-Ari, A. 2/27/2013 Arteriogenesis and Cardiac Repair: Two Biomaterials – Injectable Thymosin beta4 and Myocardial Matrix Hydrogel


Lev-Ari, A. 11/13/2012 Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR-gamma) Receptors Activation: PPARγ transrepression for Angiogenesis in Cardiovascular Disease and PPARγ transactivation for Treatment of Diabetes


Lev-Ari, A. 8/29/2012 Positioning a Therapeutic Concept for Endogenous Augmentation of cEPCs — Therapeutic Indications for Macrovascular Disease: Coronary, Cerebrovascular and Peripheral


Lev-Ari, A. 8/28/2012 Cardiovascular Outcomes: Function of circulating Endothelial Progenitor Cells (cEPCs): Exploring Pharmaco-therapy targeted at Endogenous Augmentation of cEPCs


Lev-Ari, A. 8/27/2012 Endothelial Dysfunction, Diminished Availability of cEPCs, Increasing CVD Risk for Macrovascular Disease – Therapeutic Potential of cEPCs


Lev-Ari, A. 8/24/2012 Vascular Medicine and Biology: CLASSIFICATION OF FAST ACTING THERAPY FOR PATIENTS AT HIGH RISK FOR MACROVASCULAR EVENTS Macrovascular Disease – Therapeutic Potential of cEPCs


Lev-Ari, A. 7/19/2012 Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and the Role of agent alternatives in endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS) Activation and Nitric Oxide Production


Lev-Ari, A. 4/30/2012 Resident-cell-based Therapy in Human Ischaemic Heart Disease: Evolution in the PROMISE of Thymosin beta4 for Cardiac Repair


Lev-Ari, A. 7/2/2012 Macrovascular Disease – Therapeutic Potential of cEPCs: Reduction Methods for CV Risk


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Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

Walking Versus Running for Hypertension, Cholesterol, and Diabetes Mellitus Risk Reduction

  1. Paul T. Williams,
  2. Paul D. Thompson


From the Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA (P.T.W.); and Division of Cardiology, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT (P.D.T.).

Correspondence to Paul T. Williams, PhD, Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Donner 464, 1 Cycloton Rd, Berkeley, CA 94720. E-mailptwilliams@lbl.gov

Objective—To test whether equivalent energy expenditure by moderate-intensity (eg, walking) and vigorous-intensity exercise (eg, running) provides equivalent health benefits.

Approach and Results—We used the National Runners’ (n=33 060) and Walkers’ (n=15 945) Health Study cohorts to examine the effect of differences in exercise mode and thereby exercise intensity on coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors. Baseline expenditure (metabolic equivant hours per day [METh/d]) was compared with self-reported, physician-diagnosed incident hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, and CHD during 6.2 years follow-up. Running significantly decreased the risks for incident hypertension by 4.2% (P<10−7), hypercholesterolemia by 4.3% (P<10−14), diabetes mellitus by 12.1% (P<10−5), and CHD by 4.5% per METh/d (P=0.05). The corresponding reductions for walking were 7.2% (P<10−7), 7.0% (P<10−8), 12.3% (P<10−4), and 9.3% (P=0.01). Relative to <1.8 METh/d, the risk reductions for 1.8 to 3.6, 3.6 to 5.4, 5.4 to 7.2, and ≥7.2 METh/d were as follows: (1) 10.0%, 17.7%, 25.1%, and 34.9% from running and 14.0%, 23.8%, 21.8%, and 38.3% from walking for hypercholesterolemia; (2) 19.7%, 19.4%, 26.8%, and 39.8% from running and 14.7%, 19.1%, 23.6%, and 13.3% from walking for hypertension; and (3) 43.5%, 44.1%, 47.7%, and 68.2% from running, and 34.1%, 44.2% and 23.6% from walking for diabetes mellitus (walking >5.4 METh/d excluded for too few cases). The risk reductions were not significantly different for running than walking for diabetes mellitus (P=0.94), hypercholesterolemia (P=0.06), or CHD (P=0.26), and only marginally greater for walking than running for hypercholesterolemia (P=0.04).

Conclusions—Equivalent energy expenditures by moderate (walking) and vigorous (running) exercise produced similar risk reductions for hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, and possibly CHD.


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