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Properties of low density lipoproteins relevant to oxidative modifications change paradoxically during aging

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      Abstract

      Atherosclerosis is a common problem among the elderly. Because lipid peroxidation is considered a contributor to the development of atherosclerosis, we compared oxidative properties of lipoproteins in an otherwise healthy (SENIEUR-classified) aged population (65–74 years) with young controls (18–30 years). Relative amounts of oxidatively altered low density lipoprotein (LDL), estimated by means of an antibody against LDL modified by 4-hydroxynonenal, a product of lipid peroxidation, were increased marginally in serum from the elderly (9.8 vs. 7.4%, P = 0.07). In contrast, isolated LDL from the elderly revealed a decreased susceptibility to in vitro oxidation: the lag time was increased (2.34 vs. 2.10 h, P < 0.01), and the maximal rate of LDL oxidation decreased (0.88 vs. 1.01 O.D./h, P = 0.001). However, there were no age-related changes in lipid composition of native LDL and consumption of fatty acids during in vitro oxidation. The serum concentrations of ascorbic acid and most lipophilic anti-oxidants (the latter expressed per g serum lipids) were significantly decreased in the elderly except tocopherols which tended to be higher. In conclusion, our data reveal paradox age-related alterations of LDL as to its behaviour in oxidation in vivo vs. in vitro.

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