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Influence of saturated and unsaturated fat diets on cholesterol efflux capacity of high density lipoprotein (HDL)

Grant number: 16/18808-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2016
Effective date (End): October 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Metabolism and Bioenergetics
Principal researcher:Graziella Eliza Ronsein
Grantee:Douglas Ricardo de Souza Junior
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Obesity is a global problem. Obese people have an increase in plasma concentration of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) together with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. In addition, the composition of the diet seems to be an important factor in the development of cardiovascular diseases. For example, it is known that saturated fatty acids are agents that induce metabolic stress and inflammation, but polyunsaturated fatty acids appear to have the opposite effect. Unlike LDL, which in excess can lead to the development of cardiovascular diseases, the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is considered to be cardioprotective. The protective effect of HDL is attributed in part to its ability to mobilize the excess cholesterol from macrophages of arteries walls. This project aims to evaluate the ability of HDL of rats treated with diets rich in saturated fatty acids or polyunsaturated fatty acids to promote cholesterol efflux from macrophages. To achieve this goal, we will develop a robust analytical methodology for the quantification of the bidirectional flux of cholesterol from cultured macrophage. The use of a bidirectional efflux methodology is essential to understand cholesterol metabolism. This project can help understand how diets high in saturated fatty acids contribute to make HDL dysfunctional and ultimately leverage the onset of cardiovascular disease.

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