Increased susceptibility of LDL to oxidation has been shown to be associated with the presence of coronary heart disease and may account for the accelerated vascular disease seen in diabetes. The response of LDL to in vitro oxidative stress has been proposed as a measure of the predisposition of LDL to the in vivo subendothelial oxidative stress. Increased susceptibility to oxidation has been demonstrated recently in diabetic patients with poorly controlled IDDM. Thus, we conducted studies to determine whether the increased susceptibility of LDL to oxidation was secondary to diabetes per se or to the level of glycemic control. Fifteen IDDM patients with good glycemic control and with no evidence of macrovascular disease or proteinuria were compared with healthy age-, sex-, race-, and BMI-matched nondiabetic subjects. Fasting blood glucose levels averaged 12.1 ± 1.1 (mean ± SE) vs. 4.9 ± 0.1 mmol/l in the diabetic versus the control groups, respectively. HbAlc levels averaged 7.7 ± 0.5 vs. 4.4 ± 0.2%, reflecting well-controlled diabetes (P < 0.0001). Total, LDL, VLDL, and HDL cholesterol, triglyceride, and lipoprotein(a) levels did not differ between the groups. The particle size, lipid composition, fatty acid content, antioxidant content, and glycation were similar for LDL isolated from both groups. A rapid LDL preparation technique was used to compare LDL susceptibility to oxidation under the following conditions: final LDL cholesterol concentration of 100 μg/ml, 5 μmol/l of CuCl2 at 25°C. There was no difference in the susceptibility to in vitro oxidation of LDL isolated from IDDM patients compared with control subjects. There was no correlation of glycemic control with any of the parameters of the in vitro oxidation of LDL. LDL from patients with well-controlled IDDM does not differ in composition or in susceptibility to in vitro oxidative stress compared with LDL from nondiabetic subjects.

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